Eric Bailly has endured a torrid season at Manchester United, with injuries limiting him to just 18 appearances in all-competitions.
The 25-year-old defender has been bookmarked as a potential rock to marshal United’s defence in the years to come, but his progress has been stunted by injury problems.
He managed to start against Chelsea last Sunday, however, before he was withdrawn after 71 minutes with an injury problem.
It has since transpired that Bailly suffered medial ligament damage – an injury which will rule him out of the African Cup of Nations this summer.
With the news fresh in mind, the Ivory Coast international took to Instagram to thank everyone for their messages and looked ahead to a brighter future.
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I would like to thank everyone for the messages of love and support I have received. It's tough, but one must accept that some injuries are unavoidable. It's true that this season hasn't smiled down upon me very much, but I will return soon and with more strength next season, God willing. 🙏🏾
And his upbeat post commanded plenty of support from his fellow professionals, and two particularly influential stars, David De Gea and Jerome Boateng tipped him to return a stronger player.
Footballers are no strangers to media friendly cliches, and the notion that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger seems to be one both De Gea and Boateng subscribe to.
With United’s defensive options looking hopelessly bereft of star quality, there’s no doubt the fans will be echoing the sentiments of the aforementioned pairing and hoping he discovers a rich vein of form upon his return from injury.