I was watching “Monk”, season 4 episode 3, where at the end Natalie says “Mitch was right. The great ones play hurt”. She was surprised by the “bold” and unusual action by Mr. Monk, but even with this context I cannot figure out what exactly she meant by “the great ones play hurt”, and my guesses in the past haven’t always been right.
Of course I searched online, but no useful results. I have no idea who Mitch is, maybe something I missed in the series. If it’s a pop culture reference, I apologise but I couldn’t find anything that pointed me to it. I also checked the definitions on urban dictionary, which usually contains at least one good explanation of an idiom, but this time it still wasn’t satisfying. If someone could help, would appreciate it!