Headway, the brain injury charity, has praised medical teams from Hull City and Chelsea following the swift treatment of Ryan Mason, who suffered a fractured skull during the Premier League meeting between both clubs on Sunday.
Mason received treatment on the pitch for around nine minutes after a clash of heads with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill during the first half of Hull's 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
The 25-year-old midfielder underwent surgery at St Mary's Hospital in London the same evening and, as of Monday morning, his club are awaiting a further update on his condition.
Headway chief executive Peter McCabe said: "I was actually at the match and, while it was upsetting to witness the incident, it was encouraging to see the exemplary reaction of the medical teams.
"Headway has been critical of the way in which head injuries have been treated in many high-profile football incidents in recent years, but it is positive to see that lessons appear to have been learned."
Mason received assistance on the field from members of both clubs' medical teams and later received messages of support from many of his fellow professionals. Hull issued a statement on Sunday evening, describing their record signing's condition as "stable". The club expect the former Tottenham midfielder to be in hospital "for the next few days".
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte expressed hope that Mason would make a quick recovery immediately after the match, prior to news of his operation. Conte also revealed Cahill's half-time condition "wasn't really good", yet the England international completed the match, scoring Chelsea's second goal 10 minutes from time. Cahill was assessed by Chelsea's medical staff for some time during the break in play as Mason was attended to.
Headway did not reference Cahill in its statement and it is not possible to make head injury assessments from afar.
The charity last September questioned whether concussion protocols were being observed in football, calling for an independent review after an incident involving Manchester United's Anthony Martial. Headway's concerns specifcally surrounded whether rules introduced in August 2014 were being applied, not specifically the treatment of Martial.
The regulations include the employment of a third 'tunnel doctor' to help team medics identify concussions and whether a player is fit to continue. Headway favour an approach where, if there is any doubt over a player's fitness to continue, they are withdrawn from the action.
Additional reporting by PA
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