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Ex-England striker Andrew Cole 'feeling stronger' after kidney transplant

Andrew Cole went for surgery last month.

Former England striker Andrew Cole says he is "feeling stronger'' as he continues his recovery from a kidney transplant.

Cole, 45, who played for Manchester United, Newcastle and Blackburn during his career, underwent the operation at Manchester Royal Infirmary last month. The former striker needed the transplant as part of his treatment for a condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, but on Friday said his recovery is going well.

In a message posted on Twitter, Cole said: "It's now been over 4 wks post op.. just want to thank every1 for their continued support! Slow progress as expected but feeling stronger''.

Cole suffered kidney failure in June 2014 as a result of contracting an airborne virus.

One of the side-effects of Cole's condition, which causes scarring of the kidney and impacts on levels of protein in the body, is weight gain. Speaking to BBC Sport in February 2016, the former Newcastle forward reflected on the issues he now faced.

''Seeing the change in my body, that has been tough, it wreaks havoc with you. You get comments like, 'Andy Cole's let himself go, who ate all the pies?','' Cole said.

''I have to take it day by day. I am four months off a year and it has been tough going through this process.''

Cole won 15 caps for England and made 275 appearances for Manchester United, where he scored 121 goals and won five league titles as well as the 1999 Champions League.

The striker started his career at Arsenal and also had spells at Bristol City, Blackburn, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Sunderland, Burnley and Nottingham Forest before retiring in November 2008.

Following the update from Cole, Manchester United replied to his tweet, saying: "We're all behind you, @vancole9!''.

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