An emotional Victor Anichebe has vowed to come back stronger after the striker was ruled out for 10 weeks with knee ligament damage.
The 28-year-old Sunderland striker damaged his right knee after coming on as a sub in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at West Brom.
Anichebe played on following treatment and showed no ill-effects but test results have now confirmed the club's worst fears, with Anichebe rupturing his medial ligament.
And he has now spoken of his disappointment at being ruled out for a lengthy spell as Sunderland battle against the drop.
Anichebe, who took to Instagram to post a message to supporters, says he has "complete faith" in the team's ability to pull themselves away from danger this season and has urged fans to stay positive.
He wrote: "If I was to say I was gutted would be a complete understatement. This is probably the worst I've felt about getting injured since that horrendous tackle in 2009!
"I don't usually cry like that but this has been a really hard one to take as I feel so settled here and know I'm important to the team!
"And just as I was getting back to my best and even better...this happens!! I know you guys are very frustrated just as I am but sometimes these things happen, I don't know why.
"I just have to be as positive as I can, pray and do the work needed to be back as quick as possible..I've been here before and came out stronger and I will again!
"You may feel like everything is going against us as I'm typing this but I believe and have complete faith that we will improve and pick up the results needed to get us out of the position we find ourselves in.
"Believe me I know it's difficult but stay positive and keep supporting the team we really need all of you to succeed!
"I just want to thank you all for the support that you've given me since I arrived at this wonderful club and I will do everything in my power to be back as quickly as possible! God bless."
The powerful forward is now facing between 10 and 12 weeks on the sidelines after scans revealed the extent of the damage.
The severity of the injury effectively rules the 28-year-old out for the bulk of the rest of the campaign and leaves Sunderland in need of striking reinforcements before the transfer window closes next Tuesday.