Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has offered his thanks to supporters as he begins his recovery from a horrific leg injury he sustained against Fulham on Saturday.
Rooney suffered a deep gash to his right thigh after an inadvertent clash with Cottagers striker Hugo Rodallega, and needed ten stitches to pull his skin back together.
The 26-year-old will now be sidelined for at least a month, and could miss England's World Cup qualifiers with Moldova and Ukraine, as well as United's first three Champions League matches.
Rooney, though, was able to put the situation into perspective after suggesting that his injury could have been far worse.
"Just want to thank everyone for their messages of support," Rooney told his official Facebook fan page. "Gutted to be out for a while but my leg will be ok which is the main thing."
The recent acquisition Robin van Persie will compensate for the extended absence of Rooney, and the former Arsenal captain will no doubt benefit from an extended run in the team.
Van Persie scored his first goal for Manchester United against Fulham, having started the game ahead of Rooney to make his home debut.