THANKS for the MESSAGES

Recovering Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz has thanked the surgeon who treated his awful facial injury sustained in Sunday's Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

Recovering Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz has thanked the surgeon who treated his awful facial injury sustained in Sunday's Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

Glory coach Ian Ferguson has praised his striker's courageous display, after the club-s marquee man needed 50 stitches to his lip and nose last night following a heavy clash in the first half with Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith.

“He had problems breathing and I was ready to take him off at half-time,” Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson said.

“But he showed great courage and character.”

Heavily bandaged, Smeltz was substituted with 11 minutes to play but his night was far from over as he was immediately taken to hospital after the game.

“I-m a bit sore but the pain killers are keeping me good at the moment,” Smeltz said.

“In terms of pain, it was the hardest game I have had to get through.

“With the blood continually dripping and the bandages, it was tough to breathe when I was running.

“I-d like to thank the plastic surgeon who treated me and everyone for their messages of support.”