IF footballing 'gods' handed out good luck, Jai Stanley would be near the back of the queue.

Worcester City's tormented midfielder is ripping his hair out -- and there is plenty of it -- while agonising over his latest knee setback.

A recent scan outlined no cartilage damage and, subsequently, no requirement for a third operation in the space of two years.

But regular discomfort to the troublesome right knee has left Stanley miserable and facing up to the bleak prospect of another trip to the surgeon's table.

"As far as I'm concerned, the scan is not conclusive," admits the 26-year-old. "The doctor told me the scan doesn't show any cartilage damage and that's positive. But, the scan only shows so much.

"It hasn't shown up exactly what the problem is. It's a funny one and nobody can tell me.

"I need to see a specialist and I'm waiting for (City chairman) Dave Boddy to sort that out. Psychologically, it's difficult for me to really knuckle down.

"I've just got to be sure in my head before I start messing about, doing this, that and the other.

"It will be fine one minute and then, all of a sudden, something will move in my knee. Whatever the problem is, it is very similar to my cartilage.

"I went to training on Tuesday night, talking to physio Martin Obrey and doing little exercises, trying to build the quad muscles, strengthen the knee and work the hamstring.

"I'm not sure whether it was doing me any good because it was still sore. Most of the time it is fine, but once I get in a certain position, it can be a pain. Sometimes, I can't stand up.

"At the moment, I don't know if I need an operation, but I'm thinking that I do."

Stanley has twice gone under the knife for keyhole surgery since joining Worcester from Moor Green in November 2003 in a record £10,000 move.

His first operation came within a month of signing for City. Then in October last year, he re-visited specialist centre Droitwich Knee Clinic to repair medial and lateral damage to his cartilage.

The frustration of a potential third operation is proving too much for the playmaker.

But if needs must, Stanley wants confirmation that it will be his last visit to the clinic, with no future 'bad luck' episodes.

He added: "If I need an operation, it will be my third knee operation in two years and this time I've got to make sure that it's right. When I went for the operation this time last year, I was told it was bad luck when the knee went again. This time, I don't want any bad luck.

"I'm not one for blaming other people, but if I have an operation, I want it to be 100 per cent right without any future problems.

"I can't put any sort of time-scale on when I'll be playing again. If it's the cartilage and I need an operation, it could be six weeks or more. I want to be back playing next week, but I know it's not going to happen."