Real Madrid's Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain hopes to return to action after undergoing an operation on his back in America.
Higuain went to Chicago to have surgery on a herniated disc and hopes to be playing again before the summer. The striker admitted he did not know how long it would be before he was back but has set his sights on returning this season.
''I feel very relieved, which makes me a more positive person and more upbeat for what is to come,'' he told the club's official website. ''I don't know how long it will be before I am playing again, but I am happy and anxious to begin the recovery process.
''We must be cautious. I am young and have a lot of years of football ahead of me. I would be lying if I told you I didn't want to return as soon as possible. I am grateful to the club for all its help. I hope to return before season's end.''
The 23-year-old was overwhelmed when his team-mates revealed they were wearing t-shirts bearing a message of support to him.
''I got emotional when I saw my team-mates walk onto the pitch with supportive t-shirts on. I sent them all a special message,'' he said. ''I am honoured as both a player and person. I am sure everything will turn out well.''