Hull midfielder Ryan Mason has revealed how Petr Cech served as an inspiration during the slow and painful process of recovering from the horrific head injury he sustained at Stamford Bridge in January.
The one-time England international has also admitted that he is still unsure when he will play again, as he continues to deal with the after-effects of such a significant injury.
Mason returned to the Tigers training ground this week for the first time since the incident, in which he sustained a fractured skull which required surgery at St Mary's Hospital in London.
Cech suffered a similar injury in 2006 and Mason has thanked the Arsenal goalkeeper for the crucial role he has played in maintaining his belief that he will soon return to action.
Mason said in an interview broadcast on Hull's official website: "I was fortunate to speak to people like Petr Cech, who has been through a similar situation to this and he has helped me massively.
“He has given me advice and told me what to expect, to not to worry about certain things mentally and psychologically, and that was great for me.
“You look at what he has come back to achieve in the game (and it) is remarkable. I am very fortunate because a lot of people study these kinds of things but you never really understand unless you're in the situation.
“I was very fortunate that he reached out to me and to my family and fiancee, and he took the time to come and see us and talk with us and help us through the situation.”
Mason admitted he is still struggling with fatigue and loud noise and said he is not putting any timescale on any prospective return to action.
He added: “It was tough for me in the first couple of months but it has been a while now and I feel strong enough to return (to the training ground) and I am excited to be here.
“It's a massive step in my recovery. There was a time when I couldn't be around loud noise and people talking would have been too much for me, but I'm ready now and it is the right time to kick on with the next stage of my recovery.
“There's no timescale on anything. I'm taking each day as it comes and I'm still dealing with a lot of fatigue.
“It's difficult but I'm respecting my body - what I can do I'm doing, and what I can't do I'm not. There will come a time when I can kick on and hopefully that will happen very soon.”Reuse content