Michael Collins one of many Leyton Orient players to play through pain in 2017
PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 April 2017
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It has been a terrible campaign for Orient, but some of the recent sacrifices by certain senior professionals in 2017 should not be forgotten.
Michael Collins was the latest Leyton Orient player to play through pain and discomfort in order to try and help the struggling club on Saturday.
The 30-year-old, who celebrates his birthday on Sunday, suffered an accidental blow to the eye by Crewe Alexandra’s Ryan Wintle in the 14th minute last weekend.
Despite Collins struggling to see, the ex-Scunthorpe United captain battled on and was determined to help O’s cause.
Eventually Orient boss Omer Riza had to disappoint the midfielder by telling him he had to come off before he suffered any lasting damage.
Saturday was not the first time Collins has played through discomfort in 2017, as he did so at Cambridge United earlier this month.
The midfielder was struggling with a back problem, but like so many of his O’s team-mates he got out on the pitch and carried on.
If you look back over the last two or three months there is a lengthy list of players who have played through the pain for Orient.
Vice-captain Liam Kelly only just passed a fitness test to feature against Hartlepool United on Monday April 17.
The former Oldham Athletic skipper was struggling with a calf problem, yet started the game and helped O’s win 2-1.
Unfortunately for Kelly it did some lasting damage and it now seems likely we will not see him again this season.
But it is another example of an Orient player pushing himself to the limit in order to help the team.
Nicky Hunt hasn’t featured since the 2-0 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers on April 1, but has played through the pain on numerous occasions.
O’s club captain struggled with a knee injury throughout March and had been managing a troublesome ankle issue too.
Callum Kennedy has had several injury problems as well, but regularly tried his best to grit his teeth and carry on.
The left-back’s groin has been troubling him for most of 2017, yet he has always done his best to be available for Orient.
Even when it has affected his game, Kennedy has continued to push through in order to try and help O’s.
Towards the end of March the defender had a painful foot injury and yet it didn’t stop him turning out for Orient.
Kennedy may have been at fault for a number of goals this year, but his commitment to the club can never be questioned.
Gavin Massey’s last appearance for O’s this season was at Crawley Town on March 25 and he looked out of sorts that day.
It was only around a week later we found out the ex-Colchester United winger had been another to play through the pain.
Massey enjoyed a stunning month of February, but was carrying a knee injury during that period, and yet continued to fight for the club and in the process eventually tore his hamstring.
Tom Parkes showed his commitment to the cause in February when he bravely played despite being in immense pain.
O’s centre back suffered a bruised hip in the early stages of Orient’s 3-2 defeat at home to Notts County.
Parkes left the pitch on a stretcher and needed oxygen with many fearing he may have broken his pelvis.
Fortunately a scan later showed the defender had just suffered heavy bruising and yet seven days later he started against Cheltenham Town.
It was a crucial match for O’s in their battle to survive and Parkes virtually winced and limped his way through the first-half before finally having to call it a day.
Parkes, like the aforementioned Orient players, has received criticism this season and at times it has been justified and on other occasions it has been harsh, but his desire to play through adversity deserves praise.
Paul McCallum is another member of the O’s squad who divides opinion amongst the Brisbane Road faithful, but his role in this season should not be questioned.
The ex-West Ham United striker dislocated his fibula at Mansfield Town at the end of January, but returned two weeks later.
McCallum played through the pain barrier under Danny Webb and despite struggling to move freely, still managed to find the net on a couple of occasions.
Eventually the pain became unbearable and O’s top goalscorer was forced to sit on the sidelines, but his involvement during February was another example of an Orient player giving their all for the club.
There are plenty of other examples throughout the campaign with Nigel Atangana and Yvan Erichot battling through at times despite having groin issues.
It has been a terrible campaign for Orient, but some of the recent sacrifices by certain senior professionals should not be forgotten.