Photo: Frank Augstein/AP

Just 13 minutes into Hull City’s Premier League match against Chelsea yesterday, Hull midfielder Ryan Mason went up for a header in the box. Chelsea defender Gary Cahill rushed to intercept the ball, but instead, he smashed into Mason’s head, immediately sending him to the ground.

Mason lay on the field receiving medical attention for nine minutes before being stretchered off in a neck brace. The club announced shortly after that he was taken to the hospital for emergency surgery because of a skull fracture

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This afternoon, they confirmed that Mason was stable and had since started speaking. Hull are “quietly confident” that Mason will be ready for the start of next season. It sounds like he’ll be taking it very slow:

“Ryan Mason would be expected to follow a gradual return to play protocol and the first step is complete rest, which means no stimulation,” said Dr Michael Grey, a reader in rehabilitation neuroscience at the University of East Anglia who specialises in concussion and sports-related head injuries. “Then, after complete rest, comes gentle exercise, all with continuous monitoring to check there are no symptoms, no fatigue or dizziness or headaches.”