The 'Mr. Dependable' title just doesn't do Glenn Whelan justice. Regardless of the fact that Stoke have slowly but surely climbed up from the Championship to become top-half regulars in the Premier League and regardless of the fact that they can now go out and spend the best part of £20 million on a central midfielder, there's still no getting away from the fact that Whelan is crucial to the way they play.
Mark Hughes may have been able to bring in Gianelli Imbula in the January transfer window but any worry that that would lead to Glenn Whelan shifting out to a bit-part role were quickly dispelled. The Irish midfielder has been the proverbial rock in Stoke's midfield, so much so that out of 32 Premier League games so far this season, Whelan has started every single one of them. Jack Butland's recent injury prevents him from joining Whelan, while the closest outfield contender is Marko Arnautovic with 28 starts.
Just six more games and Whelan could have the envious record of starting every game in a Premier League season. But, if the latest injury update coming out of the Potteries is anything to go by, it looks like the Dubliner may have to relinquish hopes of completing a perfect season in terms of appearances. And all because he got out of his car incorrectly.
Mark Bowen, Stoke's assistant boss has confirmed that, although Whelan is determined to keep up his record, he's a major doubt to make the starting lineup against Liverpool on Sunday after he played through back spasms against Swansea last week.
He did it, very simply, getting out of his car.
People who've had bad backs will tell you how it can happen. He didn't do anything untoward; he just got out of the car and felt something crack in his back. That was it.
It's the luck we've been having with injuries, tell me about it. We haven't been lucky but it shows that we've got a good squad and whatever happens we'll be in the right frame of mind.
Bowen did however, go on to say that Whelan's determination is such that, back spasms or no back spasms, it's too early to write him off just yet.
At times, I think Glenn will forgive me for saying, he will put himself forward when he's only 70 per cent fit because he's so desperate to play and desperate to help out and lead the team out. We will monitor him very close going into the weekend that's for sure.