Kevin de Bruyne has revealed it could take up to six months before he is fully recovered from the facial injury suffered in the Champions League final, as the Belgium star likened the pain to a 'visit to the dentist'.
The Manchester City star, 29, returned to action for Belgium on Thursday night, having been sidelined with a fractured nose and eye socket during City's defeat to Chelsea in Porto.
De Bruyne underwent minor surgery to address the injury, and the playmaker made an emphatic return to action in Copenhagen, coming off the bench at half time to inspire a turnaround for Roberto Martinez's side against Denmark.
The 29-year-old revealed after the Group B game that he will have to play through the pain barrier for a lengthy spell of time.
'I don't feel anything on the left side, like after a visit to the dentist,' the Belgian told reporters via Goal.
'My nerve is very badly affected, which could take six months. It's not a comfortable feeling, but the most important thing is that I can play.
'The last two months have been up and down for me with minor injuries. After that fracture in the nose and eye socket, it was a bit of a wait.
'But luckily I came back in the fastest way. There was very good intensity for half an hour, [against Denmark] then I felt it. But I'm glad I was able to play.'
De Bruyne demonstrated just how crucial he is to Belgium's hopes of winning the European Championships, with the Red Devils looking flat for 45 minutes before his introduction injected much-needed energy in the World No 1 side.
The City star, who scored and provided an assist, said he was happy to be back on the pitch, but remains unsure as to whether he is yet ready to complete a full 90 minutes for his country.
'My performance was OK,' he reflected. 'In the duels I am sometimes afraid to put my head in it, but that's normal.
'I'm glad I could help the team, but am I ready to play 90 minutes? No idea. We have to wait and see how my body reacts and then we'll see after Finland. We are already qualified, so we can see how my body reacts.'