David Beckham arrived in London with his wife Victoria on Wednesday after flying in from the Finnish clinic where he had surgery for a torn Achilles' tendon.
With his left leg in a cast, Beckham flew in on a private jet. He injured his foot on Sunday and will be sidelined for about six months, forcing him to miss the World Cup in South Africa.
The Beckhams, who have yet to speak publicly since the injury, are expected to spend a few days at their home in England before returning to Los Angeles.
"I did say that perhaps it would not be wise to fly straight off to Los Angeles … that he should stop somewhere first," said Sakari Orava, the orthopedic surgeon who performed the operation.
Orava said Beckham was "well and in a good mood."
"He has to take it easy for about a month — that's how long it will be in a cast — and then week-by-week he can move the foot and use it more," Orava told The Associated Press.
When the Beckhams left the clinic in Turku, Finland, on Thursday, police pushed back dozens of shouting fans as the couple got into a silver Volkswagen van. Escorted by two police cars, they were taken to the local airport.
The 34-year-old Beckham tore his left Achilles' tendon when playing for AC Milan and underwent surgery in Turku on Monday.
Before Beckham's departure, Orava and medical teams reviewed a rehabilitation program he had planned for the midfielder.
Beckham, who flew to the Mehilainen Clinic in Turku on Monday, was joined a day later by his wife, who also spent the night at the clinic.
Orava said they ordered pizzas and watched soccer on a large-screen TV on Tuesday evening but that he left the couple just as the Champions League match between Chelsea and Inter Milan started.
"They looked happy," he said.
Orava, who has operated on several international sports stars, including runners Frank Fredericks, Merlene Ottey and Haile Gebreselassie, said Beckham was an exemplary patient.
"He was a very easy and good patient. Even the nurses said they wished that all their patients were like him," Orava said. "He was very satisfied and didn't complain about anything and thanked everyone."
Orava said Beckham's tendon was totally torn, ruling out his hopes of playing in his fourth World Cup. The tournament starts June 11 in South Africa.
AC Milan said Beckham would begin rehabilitation right away.
"The plan includes a complete recovery in six months, at the end of which he can play again," the club said.