Brian May has been left in ''relentless'' pain after damaging his butt while gardening.

The Queen rocker paid a visit to hospital and was ordered to stay off his feet to recover after tearing his gluteus maximus - the main muscle of the hip that forms the buttocks - ''to shreds'' while pushing himself too hard at home.

Sharing a photo on Instagram in which his face was partially-covered with a mask, he wrote: ''Reality check ! For me. No - the Virus didn't get me yet - thank God. Hope you're all keeping extra-safe out there.

''A decision to relax controls doesn't suddenly make the danger go away.

''But me ?? Yes, I've been quiet. Reason ? As well as getting over-stretched and harassed by too many demands ... I managed to rip my Gluteus Maximus to shreds in a moment of over-enthusiastic gardening.

''So suddenly I find myself in a hospital getting scanned to find out exactly how much I've actually damaged myself.

''Turns out I did a thorough job - this is a couple of days ago - and I won't be able to walk for a while ... or sleep, without a lot of assistance, because the pain is relentless.(sic)''

The 72-year-old musician told fans he was going to ''go dark'' from social media and take a ''complete'' break at home.

He said: ''So, folks ... I need to go dark for a while, getting some complete rest, at home. Please, please don't send me sympathy - I just need some healing silence for a while. I'll be back - but I need the complete break. OK ? Thanks. Take care out there. Bri (sic)''

Despite his pledge to take a break, at the time of writing, Brian has since shared three additional Instagram posts.