Bevan Small will be bowling through the pain if he makes his return to Central Districts for their Plunket Shield game against Otago in Dunedin on Monday.
The Manawatu pace bowler has been called into the CD squad as their bowling stocks have been cut down by injury, but is still yet to have surgery on his recurring rib injury.
The injury has been a regular problem during the past couple of seasons, he is in pain a lot of the time and he was expecting it if he gets a chance to bowl against the Volts.
"It's pretty bad from ball one basically," he said.
"It's just a constant thing at the moment. I can't wait for the day that it's pain free."
The Stags have depth in their bowling department with a number of young bowlers but some are out of action.
Manawatu's Adam Milne was meant to tour South Africa with the Black Caps but pulled out with an Achilles tendon injury.
Scar tissue from an operation at the start of the year was causing him problems which led to Manawatu team-mate Roald Badenhorst replacing him in CD's Plunket Shield match against Wellington this week.
Doug Bracewell is with the national side and Ben Wheeler out for six weeks, not to mention captain and all-rounder Kieran Noema-Barnett who should be back by Boxing Day.
Small joined CD in Dunedin last night and is ready to deal with some discomfort while bowling, having done it for the past two and half years.
"I'll take a few pain killers.
"Basically I'm pretty keen to play until I have the operation, every chance I get," the brisk seamer said.
The 20-year-old will have to wait until he gets the results of an MRI scan he had during the week before the surgeon can make a final decision on when to have the operation.
Surgery will put him out for about three months but because it has dragged on so long during the past two years, he wanted to get it out of the way.
Small has been assured by medical staff he can't do any further damage if he keeps bowling.
The end of the 11th rib is damaged, a rare case which the surgeon hadn't seen any cricketers in New Zealand with.
Stand-in CD captain Jamie How is aware of the injury, so they will be able to manage his bowling and Small is confident he can stand up to the rigours of a four day game.
"For Manawatu I got 18 overs in a day," Small said.
"It's a thing you've got to truck through."
Milne is targeting CD's HRV Cup Twenty20 match on Boxing Day to return and Black Cap all-rounder Jacob Oram should be fit for the match as well.
- © Fairfax NZ News