Everton winger Yannick Bolasie has admitted he found it "difficult and frustrating" to watch the recent Africa Cup of Nations from home, as his long injury lay-off continues.
Bolasie's hopes of playing for the Democratic Republic of Congo in Gabon were wrecked when he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament on 4 December.
His dreams of showcasing his talent on the continent's biggest stage were shattered and he admits, missing the Nations Cup was tough.
"Watching DR Congo was the most difficult and frustrating thing so far," Bolasie told BBC Sport.
"Because when you helped the team to qualify and think about all the sacrifices you made, then you'd also want to be there at the Africa Cup of Nations.
"But I was unfortunate to get injured and I was not able to be there to follow up on the great run we had in 2015."
Bolasie, reflecting on his country's quarter-final exit at the tournament late last month, said he would love to have been there.
"I think just seeing the country play, seeing how excited the fans of DR Congo get when they see the country play.
"It was difficult to see from when you used to play. I felt like a supporter outside and that was strange and tough for me," added Bolasie.
The 27-year-old, who is expected to be out for another ten months after his second surgery, insists he is drawing inspiration from his idol and World Cup-winning Brazil legend Ronaldo (pictured) to come back from his own first serious injury.
"The inspiration to stay positive comes from my idol Ronaldo because he suffered a serious knee injury three times in his career, yet he never gave up" said Bolasie.
"These things tend to have a terrible effect on your state of mind but when you are mentally strong you can deal with it.
"I've seen many people go down with one and never come back but you can only stay positive and hope to bounce back stronger."
Bolasie was eligible for his country of birth France and the nation of his upbringing England but opted to represent the country of his parents DR Congo and made his debut in 2013 against Libya in a World Cup qualifier.
He has scored eight goals in 28 appearances for The Leopards and was also an integral part of the squad that finished third at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.