Bolton Wanderers defender David Wheater is prepared for a long battle as he bids to recover from the worst injury of his career.
The 25-year-old was told he would be out for six months after damaging knee ligaments during Bolton's final home game of the season against West Brom.
And for a player who has never missed more than a couple of weeks' football due to injury in the past, he admits he struggled to come to terms with the news at first.
But, after speaking to former Middlesbrough team-mate Matthew Bates, who has had similar injuries, he is now prepared for the long road to recovery.
Wheater told the club's official website: "It's definitely the worst injury I've ever had. I've only ever had broken noses in the past - I can't remember ever missing much football.
"It was a shock when the doctor told me but you have to get into your head that it's happened and it's going to be a long road.
"One of my good friends Matthew Bates is out with his fifth cruciate injury at the minute and he's come back from every one. He's one to look to.
"So I'm texting him and he can be my inspiration - he sounds like a doctor he has had it so many times but he's definitely helping me through it all."