Blackpool striker Billy Clarke has spoken of his devastation at being ruled out for much of the coming season.
The 22-year-old ruptured a cruciate ligament during a pre-season friendly and is now likely to miss the Tangerines' first campaign in the Barclays Premier League. Clarke has already had an operation to repair a cartilage and will undergo full reconstructive surgery in the coming weeks.
The Irishman told the club's website, www.blackpoolfc.co.uk: "The few days after I found out, you could have put me on anti-depressants and it still wouldn't have worked."
He added: "It is heartbreaking to know that but I am not the only person it has happened to and I know I will be strong enough to come back.
"Hopefully, if it is not this season, Blackpool will stay up and I will be able to play in the Premier League another time."
Clarke suffered the injury just two minutes into Blackpool's first summer friendly against Tiverton Town on July 16.
He has set no target for a return but knows that with the new 25-man squad regulations coming into force, he may not be registered to play.
Blackpool do not currently have 25 players to register but manager Ian Holloway is trying to bolster his limited ranks before the season begins.
"In this day and age I think it is pretty much a standard operation because there have been so many of them," Clarke said.
"Without complications it is six to nine months. Hopefully I can get back as soon as I can but I don't want to rush it. I have had a couple of minor knee injuries and that was nothing. This is the whole hog and I am disappointed it has come at this time, but I just have to get on with it."
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