At times last season Celtic captain Scott Brown's struggles with a hip complaint, and the complicated surgical procedures required to cure it, became so all-pervading that even the man in the street felt qualified to offer a second opinion. Now that injury saga could have an equally compelling sequel, this time with Mikael Lustig in the leading role.
The Swedish full-back, who was forced off the field during last week's Champions League clash with Ajax, admitted that in all likelihood he will need an operation to remedy an ongoing issue with muscular inflammation in his hip.
But for now he is prepared to play through the pain with massive matches looming for both club and country. They begin today with his team's first Glasgow derby against Partick Thistle since February 2004, but Lustig's calendar is made more complicated by the fact he will be required by Sweden in mid-November when they take on Portugal in a two-legged play-off for the prize of a place at next summer's World Cup.
"I still struggle a bit with my hip," he admitted. "It's discomfort rather than serious pain. It gets a bit sore as a game goes on.
"I had it when I first came here and we have talked about doing something about it but we have so many games, with Celtic and Sweden, so we are going to talk again after December or January. One option is to have a rest and hope it gets better but I will speak to doctors here and in Sweden and it may be I have to have an operation.
"It is not a big op, it would be OK after two or three months. If we reach the World Cup, I would have to think about that. I am only 26 and will need an op at some point if I want to play on until 34 or 35."
The meeting between the Swedes and the Portuguese brings together two of the world's elite players, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lustig doesn't feel his country should be burdened by an inferiority complex - something the Paris Saint-Germain forward at least has never had to worry about.
"Performance-wise, Zlatan has never been better," Lustig said. "Both for Sweden and now PSG he has been amazing. He is a great guy, the captain of our team. It is unbelievable taking him on in training. Sometimes he does things you have never seen before. You think he must be the only player in the world who could do that.
"Of course it is going to be hard against Ronaldo, but it is not just going to be me. If you are trying to stop a player like that it needs to be everybody together. It is going to be fun. I faced him once before in a friendly when I was with Rosenborg. You need to try to enjoy it, not worry about the situation and think 's**t, Ronaldo is so much better than me'.
"We lost 4-0 in the Bernabeu but I don't think he scored. Portugal have some decent players but I think we have a chance."
That, though, is all for the future. Today, at Firhill, comes the first Glasgow derby of Lustig's career. Considering he arrived two years ago in January, dreaming of experiencing the fire and passion of the Old Firm arena only for Rangers to tumble into administration, the Swede is almost entitled to feel he was mis-sold on it all.
"This will be my first Glasgow derby," Lustig said. "In fact I don't know if I have ever had a real derby because Rosenborg don't really have one. I will just have to see when I will face them [Rangers] but it is going to be fun to play on Sunday. I was going to sign for Celtic anyway, even if Rangers had been in the Third Division then, but everyone knows about the Old Firm match and the unbelievable atmosphere.
"Of course this one is not the same, but Partick Thistle have done really well this season. It will be a big game for their fans and we need to show respect to their team."
If Celtic avoid defeat today they will have gone through the first quarter of a league campaign unbeaten for the first time since the 2003-04 season. That was also the last time they met Partick Thistle, beating them 4-1 in February 2004.
Manager Neil Lennon feels that was the best Celtic team he was part of, and that the record itself is something to aim at.
"I wasn't happy with last season's points total and I wasn't happy with some of our performances before and after Champions League games," he said. "There is a big emphasis on rectifying that this year.
"We're on a decent unbeaten run and we want to maintain that. I think the players do as well. It's their record. It's not a massive record at the minute but it's there to be preserved if they want it."
While it won't have the heat of an Old Firm match, Lennon can be sure of an interesting reception at the nearest ground to his West End home. He recalls receiving Glaswegian pelters, followed by an ovation from the Thistle fans at Firhill when he arrived at Celtic in 2002 immediately after announcing his international retirement after a death threat when preparing to captain Northern Ireland against Cyprus.
"The following game was at Firhill which I think we won 1-0," he said. "I did get a wee appreciative ovation from the fans that day. I probably drink with most of them in Tennent's - or have been to the theatre with them."