John Souttar has vowed to do all he can to salvage his career and get back playing for Hearts after thanking the club and the fans for their support.
The Scotland defender underwent an operation to mend a ruptured Achilles tendon yesterday morning after suffering a relapse in his recovery from the exact same injury he sustained in March.
It is the third time the 23-year-old has had surgery for the problem after also damaging his Achilles tendon in January 2017.
Souttar has also been troubled by hip and ankle issues in the last two seasons and is facing being sidelined until at least the turn of the year.
Despite acknowledging that he has struggled to get his head around what has happened, the former Dundee United player insists the heartening messages have made him more determined to overcome this latest set-back.
“Just had my operation this morning and I’d like to write a short message to say a massive thanks to everyone for all the messages I’ve received over the past few days.
“It’s been a tough few days for me to process the injury and accept it but the support and the messages really have helped me.
“The club and staff have been incredible with me and I’ll do absolutely everything I can to pull on the maroon jersey at Tynecastle in front of you again.
“It’s the start of a long and difficult journey to return but I’m truly grateful for all the support. Thank you.”