Emilio Izaguirre has told Honduran outlet Diez that Brendan Rodgers played the Celtic left-back despite suffering a second degree sprain on his ankle.
The 32-year-old has been a regular member of the side of late with Kieran Tierney sidelined. He has clocked up 16 appearances in all competitions this season.
Hibernian defender Darnell Johnson was retrospectively banned for two matches for his tackle on Izaguirre. It saw the Honduran stretchered off on February 6, with scans showing an ankle sprain.
However, just eight days later, Izaguirre managed the entire 90 minutes against Valencia in the first leg of their round of 32 Europa League clash. He spoke of how Rodgers used him despite the sprain.
“I came back to play against Valencia with a second degree sprain,” Izaguirre said. “Against Valencia, it hurt a lot. Then I stopped three days and three days I’ve been running. It’s nothing serious and we hope to be back soon.
“I was scared when it happened as I thought it might have been a fracture, so I played 90 minutes against Valencia. My ankle was very inflamed.”
While it is somewhat dangerous to play through injury, it is somewhat refreshing to hear that players still do it. The passion and drive to win should overshadow injury, so plaudits should go Izaguirre’s way.
However, his real reason for playing through the pain may have been to earn a new deal. The Honduras international is out of contract at the end of the season and the chances of him earning an extension are slim.
Even though he has shown Celtic he will play through the pain, it might not be enough.