Tireless quick Ryan Harris has revealed he considered having knee surgery that would've ruled him out of the Boxing Day and Sydney Ashes Tests.
The veteran paceman will now delay surgery on his dodgy knee to ensure his place in Australia's pace attack for next month's three-Test tour of South Africa.
He admitted to having had discussions with his surgeon before Christmas, with his body feeling the effects of back-to-back Tests in Adelaide and Perth.
But that would've ended his Ashes summer after just three Tests, something Harris wasn't ready to consider.
Ultimately, he played through the pain and earned man-of-the-match honours in Sydney with match figures of 8-61 as Australia completed an historic 5-0 sweep.
"There's bits of bone floating around (and) we were thinking about doing it then and there and missing the rest of the series," he said.
"But I wanted to play five games. I wanted to be a part of it for the whole thing."
Harris most certainly needs a clean out of his right knee to remove fragments of floating bone caused by previous injuries which have left him with precious little cartilage.
The lack of cartilage is what causes Harris' knee to swell up after a day's play but the world No.3 ranked bowler insists it will not keep him from tearing into the world's No.1 ranked team.
"My knee is no different now than it was a month ago or six weeks ago," he said.
"Unless something really bad goes wrong, which I don't think it will, after Africa we'll get back and we've got enough time off to get it cleaned up and go from there."
Following the tour of South Africa, which wraps up in March, Australia don't play another Test series until October when they travel to the UAE to face Pakistan - giving Harris plenty of time to have a clean out.
The reasoning behind Harris' decision to put off surgery midway through the Ashes, and then spurn it once again in favour of touring South Africa is simple.
At 34, having been something of a late bloomer who debuted in Test cricket at 29, he knows he doesn't have as long left at the top as some of his teammates.
Every minute with the team counts, no matter how sore he is when he gets out of bed each morning.
"But you either decide whether you want to go through the pain or you don't," he said.
"It's as simple as that. And I want to be in this team as long as I can. (So) I'll put up with it."