London (AFP) – The football world rallied around Ryan Mason on Monday after the Hull City midfielder fractured his skull and underwent surgery following a nasty clash of heads with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill.
The 25-year-old was in a stable condition in hospital following the collision with Cahill 14 minutes into Sunday’s Premier League match at Stamford Bridge.
Medical staff from both clubs sprinted out to attend to the two players, with referee Neil Swarbrick halting play for more than five minutes while the duo had prolonged medical treatment.
Defender Cahill returned to his feet and scored Chelsea’s second goal in a 2-0 win but Mason left the field on a stretcher while receiving oxygen before being taken to a nearby hospital in west London.
Several hours after the final whistle, a Hull statement said: “The club can confirm that Ryan Mason sustained a skull fracture in our fixture at Chelsea this afternoon.
“He was taken to St Mary’s Hospital where he has undergone surgery. Ryan is in a stable condition and is expected to remain in hospital for the next few days.”
Clubs and players from across England and beyond sent messages of support for Mason, among them former Manchester United and Chelsea striker Radamel Falcao, who tweeted: “My thoughts and pray for Ryan Mason. Get well soon!”
Gareth Bale, who played with Mason at Tottenham Hotspur, tweeted: “Get well soon Mase!! Thoughts are with you and your family, stay strong!!!”
Tottenham, where Mason started his career before moving to Hull in the summer, tweeted footage of the player scoring in 2014 and a message saying: “Everyone at the club sends their best wishes to Ryan Mason for a full and speedy recovery. Get well soon, Ryan.”
The England team’s Twitter account posted a message reading: “Stay strong, Ryan” alongside a picture of Mason earning his sole England cap to date.
Immediately after the match Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte said all those connected with the London club hoped Mason enjoyed a speedy recovery.
“It was a bad accident with Gary and, I must be honest, after the first half also Gary wasn’t really good. He decided to continue the game,” said Conte.
“It was very bad this accident. Everyone at Chelsea, we hope to see him very soon on the pitch and to recover very soon.”