Perth Glory midfielder Neil Kilkenny has revealed he needed pain-killing injections on his badly injured ankle during the A-League finals series.
Kilkenny suffered ligament damage at training six days before Glory's semi-final clash with Adelaide United.
The 33-year-old would have missed anywhere between two to six weeks during the regular season.
But Kilkenny was so determined to feature in the finals that he bravely played on with the injury.
Both the player and the club kept the extent of his injury a secret.
Kilkenny started in both the semi-final win over Adelaide and Sunday's grand final loss to Sydney.
"I had ruptured ligaments and stuff like that," Kilkenny said.
"It's one of those things you know, injuries come at the wrong time and sometimes you have to push through it.
"I've been taught that throughout my career that you have to push through some injuries and I had to do that (on Sunday).
"I had to play through a couple of injections but I'm happy to do it to help the team out."
Kilkenny said he was gutted by Glory's penalty shootout loss to Sydney in the grand final.
But he believes Perth are destined for bigger and better things.
Kilkenny said the club's Premiers Plate win proved it was the best team in the competition.
"We are the champions in the sense of the league," Kilkenny said.
"Obviously in this country it's the grand final that matters. I think you can judge the best team throughout the season.
"Unfortunately we just couldn't win the grand final."
Australian Associated Press