Ryan Mason has revealed the vital role Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has played during his recovery from a serious head injury.
The Hull City midfielder suffered a skull fracture during a collision with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill in a match in January.
The former Tottenham man had a CT scan last month and is awaiting the results before any decision can be made on when he can return to football.
Cech has worn a skull cap on the pitch ever since sustaining a similar injury after colliding with Stephen Hunt during a Premier League match between Chelsea and Reading in 2006.
The 35-year-old immediately offered support to Mason’s family after the incident this year and visited him at home during his recovery.
Mason has explained how a long talk from Cech helped to put his mind at rest about any long-term problems and has vowed to do the same to any professional who goes through the process in future.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him,” he told talkSPORT when asked about the Gunners keeper.
“Straight away, he contacted my family, my fiance and just sort of reassured us that what we were going through was sort of normal and to be expected: not being able to talk, struggling with the light and everything like that.
“As soon as I got a bit more strength I was keen to see him because he said ‘as soon as you’re ready, I’d like to come round and speak to you’.
“I was a bit worried at first because I hadn’t really spoken to anyone longer than 10 minutes. He walked through the door and sat on my sofa and just said: ‘sit back, don’t say anything, just listen’.
“He spoke for about an hour and a half. I didn’t say anything, he just spoke. It was brilliant.
“It just reassured us that everything we were going through was part of the process of recovery and we’ve been in touch ever since.
“He’s been fantastic. He’s kind of set the standard of what it is to be a proper man and a gentleman.
“I’m hoping no one ever does go through that sort of injury again in sports, but if they do go through something similar, I’ll be there like Petr was for me.”