Mason in stable state after skull injury

LONDON • Hull City midfielder Ryan Mason underwent surgery at St Mary's hospital in London on Sunday night, after suffering a fractured skull in a sickening clash of heads with Chelsea's Gary Cahill during his team's 2-0 Premier League defeat.

The club confirmed Mason is in a stable condition and is expected to remain in hospital in Paddington over the next few days, so that his recovery can be closely assessed.

Doctors from both clubs, together with paramedics on site, had treated the 25-year-old on the turf for around nine minutes before carefully lifting Mason on to a stretcher. He departed wearing an oxygen mask and in obvious discomfort.

Paramedics rushed him to hospital where he was initially treated at the facility's acute trauma centre, before undergoing surgery on the skull fracture and a bleed in St Mary's Neurosurgery Unit.

"Everyone at the club would like to express their sincere thanks for the excellent and swift care given to Ryan by both the accident and emergency department and neurosurgery unit at St Mary's hospital," said a Hull spokesman.

"Ryan is in a stable condition and is expected to remain in hospital for the next few days."

Mason, standing near the penalty spot, had leapt to repel Pedro Rodriguez's 12th-minute cross as Hull weathered early Chelsea pressure at Stamford Bridge, only to connect accidentally with Cahill as the home side's captain jumped to head the loose ball.

"I tried to get on to the cross and we smashed heads," said Cahill. "It was a massive impact. I wish him all the very best and I hope there's no serious injury."

While both players crumpled to the turf, the Hull players immediately started frantically waving for medical assistance from the bench while Tom Huddlestone, closest to the stricken Mason, attempted to comfort his team-mate.

Referee Neil Swarbrick called on the medics who took their time with Mason, who appeared to be conscious as he was stretchered down the tunnel.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said all those connected with the London club hoped Mason enjoyed a speedy recovery.

"It was very bad, this accident." he said. "We hope to see him very soon on the pitch and to recover very soon."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2017, with the headline 'Mason in stable state after skull injury'. Print Edition | Subscribe