Bristol Rovers' Matt Harrold left devastated by his long-term injury
Bristol Rovers striker Matt Harrold has started on the long road to recovery after suffering the "devastating blow" of having his season cut short by a long-term knee injury.
Harrold has confirmed he is likely to be out for between six and nine months after going under the knife on Monday to repair a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, suffered during the recent trip to Gillingham.
The forward, who had hoped to improve on last season's career-high tally of 18 goals over the current campaign, said: "It is a hard one to take. When I first found out the injury was going to keep me out for a while, I probably cried more in an hour than I have in my whole life.
"I quickly pulled myself together because you soon realise these things happen in football and you have to get over it and move on quickly.
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"I didn't think I'd injured myself at all. My knee went from under me when I slid for a ball down by the corner, but it didn't feel too bad at first. There was a bit of initial pain, but it went so quickly that I thought I had run it off.
"It was when I returned to the pitch and went for a header that I felt a bit of a click and a pop in my knee. I knew something was up and then (Rovers physio) Phil Kite feared the worst when he did a couple of tests.
"It was a really devastating blow to find out I'd be out for a long time when the results came back from the scan.
"I've spoken to a few people who have had similar injuries and they are not considered career-threatening, so at least that is something positive I could focus on."
Harrold, who remains on crutches for the time being, is already looking ahead to his rehabilitation programme with Kite.
"The important thing for me is to work hard on my recovery," added Harrold. "It is going to be a long and slow road back, but I am preparing myself to tackle that mentally and to remain positive.
"I suppose I'm looking at a period of six to nine months out, which is a long time, but when your career could be at stake you can't afford to cut corners.
"You have to stay positive because getting depressed isn't going to get me back out on the pitch any quicker.
"It is a shame because I was looking forward to building on last season. It's also difficult to take because this season hasn't really started in the way we as a team wanted it to.
"We are not in the sort of position that we wanted to be in, so it's one of those where you want to help the lads turn it around, but, as it is, I can't do that now."
League One side Bury have appointed Kevin Blackwell as their new manager.
The Shakers had been without a permanent manager since Richie Barker departed to take over at League One rivals Crawley in August, with Peter Shirtliff put in temporary charge of the side.
Blackwell takes over at Gigg Lane having previously managed Leeds, Luton and Sheffield United.
During his time at Elland Road, the former goalkeeper guided Leeds to the Championship play-off final before losing to Watford, while he also went within one match of getting Sheffield United to the Premier League only to be denied again in the Championship's Wembley showpiece.
Bury are without a league win this season and lie bottom of the table with just three points from eight matches.
Blackwell's first game in charge will be at Stevenage on Saturday, while his first time in the home dugout at Gigg Lane will be against Carlisle on Tuesday.