In Brief

Ryan Mason: Hull star awake and could return within months

Hopes grow midfielder will be back in action next season following emergency surgery on fractured skull

Hull midfielder Ryan Mason was conscious, talking and in good spirits on Monday after undergoing emergency surgery on a fractured skull following his clash with Chelsea's Gary Cahill during Sunday's match.

Cahill was among the visitors at St Mary's Hospital, London, yesterday, along with Chelsea defender John Terry and Hull captain Michael Dawson.

"Hope is growing that Mason will make a full recovery and will be given the all-clear to play again for Hull, although he will remain in hospital for several days while doctors monitor his recovery," reports the Daily Telegraph. "Nevertheless, even if he is able to continue playing, it is unlikely he will do so again this season, which is a big blow to Hull's Premier League survival hopes."

The Guardian has an even more upbeat assessment, saying Hull believe Mason's skull fracture is "likely to have a significantly lesser impact on his career than a serious knee, ankle or hip problem might".

But after the drama of Sunday's rush to an acute trauma unit, the next step is a slow recovery, with no access to the internet, mobile phones or social media to avoid overstimulating the brain.

"Skull fractures come in assorted forms but operations are required when bone presses on the fracture, fragments break loose or a bleed occurs," says the paper. "An office worker might roughly be expected to be back to normal and working full-time three months after a similar injury but, depending on severity, six to nine months is more realistic for a return to sport."

Former Wolves players Don Goodman, who suffered a fractured skull in 1996, told the Daily Telegraph that he suffered a fit after his injury as his skull pressed into his brain.

He said: "It was at that moment that I thought, 'Am I going to see my little girl born?'

"You do obviously fear the worst - will I play again? But my surgeon told me that your head actually heals stronger in such instances and while they expected me to be out for a year, I was back in six months. "

Former Barnsley forward Iain Hume's fractured skull in 2008 was not spotted at the time and he was initially diagnosed with concussion.

"Had I not been sick as I walked out of hospital, it might have been the last walk I ever made," he told The Times.

Metal plates were inserted into his skull and he was in hospital for a week. "Once I came round I was just grateful that I was OK," he said. "But football is all I have ever known so there was never any doubt in my mind that I was going to play again." He returned to action after nine months.

Medics praised as Ryan Mason has surgery on fractured skull

23 January

Hull City midfielder Ryan Mason is in a stable condition in hospital after fracturing his skull against Chelsea.

The 25-year-old was hurt in a clash of heads with Blues defender Gary Cahill in the first half of the game at Stamford Bridge. He was given oxygen after the incident and left the field on a stretcher after almost ten minutes of treatment. He was taken straight to St Mary's Hospital in west London, where he underwent emergency surgery on Sunday evening.

"His condition has been described as stable, although it is too early to know how long he will remain in hospital, let alone whether he will ever be allowed to play again," reports the Daily Telegraph, which says the Hull squad is in "shock".

However, the charity Headway praised the way Mason was treated after the sickening clash of heads, reports the Press Association.

The charity's chief executive Peter McCabe was at the match and told PA: "While it was upsetting to witness the incident, it was encouraging to see the exemplary reaction of the medical teams.

"Headway has been critical of the way in which head injuries have been treated in many high-profile football incidents in recent years, but it is positive to see that lessons appear to have been learned."

Former Spurs player Mason, who joined Hull in the summer, was treated at the acute trauma centre of St Mary's, described as one of the best in London. He had surgery on the skull fracture and a bleed, reports The Guardian.

"Mason's plight prompted a wave of support on social media after the match, with former team-mates such as Harry Kane, as well as current players at Hull and Chelsea, offering thoughts, prayers and support for the midfielder. The Football Association also sent a message of support for a player who was capped in March 2015 while still on Spurs's books."

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