Gareth Barry revealed he has been defying a groin problem all season to help Aston Villa's push for a Champions League spot. But the England midfielder is confident he will not require surgery for the foreseeable future.
Barry was left out of the FA Cup clash at Gillingham a week ago after being troubled by the injury during the previous Premier League game at Hull City.
The 27-year-old returned to action in yesterday's 2-1 home win over West Brom Albion which kept Martin O'Neill's side in the top four and three points ahead of Arsenal.
Barry said: "It is a bit of a niggle and we felt it would be best to leave me out of the Gillingham game.
"We had scans to see if it was an hernia problem - and whether I would need an operation - but they were all clear.
"The groin felt a lot easier against West Brom and we will judge it game by game.
"I felt it very strongly against Hull but it has been there all season really. We will judge it day by day and game by game. No operation is imminent."
Barry also reiterated that he will be remaining with Villa until at least the end of the season although there are no imminent talks about a new contract.
The former Brighton trainee was set to make the switch to Liverpool in the summer but the deal collapsed after the Reds failed to meet Villa's £18 million valuation.
Barry, who has 18 months left of his current deal, said: "My feelings are still the same. I want to be here this season, see it through, and just want to end all speculation on my behalf.
"Nothing is being talked about regarding a new contract at the moment."