Carrie Underwood's shocking reveal that it took 40 to 50 stitches to repair her face after a November accident came just before she dropped some happy news on fans: she's back in the studio!

The singer says she will return to the studio this week. That means her long-anticipated sixth studio album is beyond the planning stages, and new music could be coming soon. This winter maybe? In time for the ACM Awards in April? Definitely by New Year's Eve 2018, right?

We won't rush her ,but it has been a full calendar year since Underwood released a new single and two-and-a-half years since the Storyteller album dropped. The next album will be her first on Universal Music Group after five post-American Idol albums on Sony Music Nashville. That she's back in the studio may portend a few things about a fall that also resulted in a broken wrist and surgery.

Could Underwood be singing with the volume and power she demands if there were significant injuries to her nose, jaw or facial bones? Doing so could be painful, if not limiting. News of Underwood's return to the studio also means she's emotionally ready to return to the studio, which is good news as her fans begin to fret her future. Underwood herself admitted she wasn't sure what 2018 would bring, but never cast doubt about her abilities as a star.

"And when I am ready to get in front of a camera, I want you all to understand why I might look a bit different," she writes in a multi-paragraph blog post to fans at her fan club page. "I’m hoping that, by then, the differences are minimal, but, again, I just don’t know how it’s all going to end up."

Sunday's (Dec. 31) note was the first time the singer offered details about the extent of her injuries. The 34-year-old shares that surgery the night of the Nov. 10 fall required 40 to 50 stitches and that while she's still healing, she doesn't quite look the same yet. A single photo captured of her by reality television star Adrienne Gang in December is inconclusive at best.

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