Hull City visit us on Saturday but Ryan Mason definitely won’t be playing. The Tigers midfielder is on the road to recovery though, after suffering a serious head injury against Chelsea in January.

That incident brought it all back for Petr Cech, who went through a similar ordeal in December 2006. Our goalkeeper - a Chelsea player at the time - was hurt in the first minute of a game against Reading. It’s a moment that Petr says is “a part of his life” - and he didn’t try to avoid footage of the incident.

“I’ve seen it many times since, because when you are in the situation first, you have a look because you want to know what really happened,” he told Arsenal Player.

“I lost my memory for a few days so I don’t remember the incident. That’s one thing where you’re thinking, ‘What really happened?’ Then you see it. I’m not really a person who makes [a rash judgement]. I will have to watch it again and again and again. I wouldn’t say, ‘I’ve seen it, I don’t need to see it again’.

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“It’s a part of my life and is exactly what happened, and I’m actually pretty happy that I managed to fight my way back. Ten years later, I’m still here and still playing.”

Petr also believes that some good came from his suffering, with Mason among those who have benefited from improvements in medical treatment at football matches.

“One thing which is very different is that, since my injury, the medical requirements for the Premier League have changed dramatically,” said Petr.

“Obviously it’s helped to save Fabrice Muamba’s life already and it obviously helped Ryan Mason to be in a [safe] place as soon as possible. They could make the situation better and deal with it straight away because the paramedics are in place now, which was not the case 10 years ago.

“In a way I’m happy it happened [to me] because it helped everybody make these improvements. Any time something happens now, the player is safer than ever.”


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9 Feb 2017