Friday 21 July 2017

Mason: I feel lucky to be alive after skull scare

Hull star goes home to continue his recovery as Mourinho warns Reds only win is good enough

Hull City's Ryan Mason. Photo: PA
Hull City's Ryan Mason. Photo: PA

James Ducker

Hull City midfielder Ryan Mason admits he feels lucky to be alive after his horror head injury. The 25-year-old fractured his skull against Chelsea last month and spent eight days in hospital before being released on Monday.

Mason had been at St Mary's Hospital in London after undergoing surgery following a clash of heads with Gary Cahill in Hull's 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on January 22.

In a statement, Mason wrote: "It has been an emotional rollercoaster and I feel lucky to be alive, but I'm happy to say I'm now at home resting and recovering.

"My fiancée & family have read so many messages of support to me over the past week. To have had so many people send messages to me, including from fellow players, clubs [in particular the support shown to me from both Hull City and Tottenham Hotspur] and so many fans, as well as the support I have received from the general public around the world has been completely overwhelming."

As Mason recovers at home his Hull team-mates are in action tonight against Manchester United.

Jose Mourinho has told his United players that anything less than victory tonight will seriously damage their prospects of Champions League qualification as he ruled out the prospect of Wayne Rooney leaving for China next month.

The United manager's warning came as he told Anthony Martial he had not done enough in the 4-0 FA Cup win over Wigan Athletic on Sunday to keep his starting place against Hull.

It will be United's third meeting with Hull in 23 days after their two-leg EFL Cup semi-final, which the Manchester club won 3-2 on aggregate, but Mourinho says there is no margin for error after draws with Liverpool and Stoke City in their last two Premier League outings.

"Only three points is a good result for us [against Hull]," he said. "If we don't win, it's really bad because we need to win matches.

"We shall do everything possible to make sure we are in the Champions League next season. We have two chances to be there.

"One is by winning the Europa League, the other is by finishing in the top four. Both achievable, both difficult but we are going to work hard for that."

Struggled

Martial struggled as a central striker against Wigan before being moved to his more familiar position on the left wing 35 minutes into the game, from where he helped to set up the second and third goals.

The Frenchman was told beforehand by Mourinho that if he performed "magnificently" he would keep his starting place for the Hull game but, asked if the forward had done enough, the manager said: "Enough to be on the bench."

Ashley Young has been named in United's squad after opting to shun a series of offers to leave and another player who will be remaining for now is Rooney.

The United and England captain has a £32m-a-year offer on the table to move to China and it was reported he could make the switch before the close of the Chinese Super League window on February 28.

But asked if Rooney would stay at United until at least the end of the season, Mourinho said: "Yeah. We don't have players in, we don't have players out." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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