Macclesfield Town defender Hamza Bencherif has taken his first step on the long road to recovery, as his foot heals.
The Algerian youngster broke his ankle during the Silkmen's 3-0 defeat at Rochdale in early December and looks set to be sidelined for the rest of the season.
However, the former Nottingham Forest trainee admits that there is at last a bit of positive news for the 21-year-old.
"I saw the surgeon last week and he told me that all the bones are now healed, which is a great sign, but it is a really bad injury," Bencherif told skysports.com.
"My whole foot was practically severed from my leg and the only thing holding it in place was my skin, which sounds more like an injury picked up in a war than a football match.
"However, it is on the mend now and I just need to work on getting it back to where it was before.
"I am starting to put weight on it now and I should be able to walk on it next week, so it is encouraging at the moment."
Prior to picking up the long-term injury, Bencherif was being lined up for a potential World Cup place in the Algeria squad, but that dream has been crushed by the shocking setback.
He added: "It was quite hard to take because this has been the first season where I've been playing regular first-team football and people were starting to sit up and pay attention to what I can do.
"Everything happens for a reason and I can't change what has happened already, so I just need to give it time and show what I can do once again next season."