Former Manchester United and England striker Andy Cole has announced he suffered kidney failure in the summer.
Cole, who has scored more Premier League goals than anyone other than Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney, has been forced to withdraw from a charity match at Old Trafford this month.
And in a statement released on the United website the club ambassador said he had been diagnosed with a condition called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis in June after contracting an airborne virus.
Cole said: “I spent close to three weeks in hospital under expert medical care, undergoing a kidney biopsy and temporary haemodialysis (dialysis).
“During this time I have been unable to work or to carry out my normal day to day activities and I am under close supervision from the renal team at the Manchester Royal Infirmary.
“The good news is that I am feeling better as each day passes and the consultant is hopeful that I will make a full recovery by next spring.
“The messages of support from the fans have been gratefully received.”
Cole won five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League after joining United from Newcastle in 1995.
© 2015 Sky Sports | This article originally appeared on Sky Sports on 4 November 2015.