Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has been left ‘devastated’ after hearing the news that Ryan Mason is to retire from football at the age of 26, saying the consequences of their clash of heads has been ‘heartbreaking’.
Mason sustained a fractured skull after competing with Cahill during a corner in a Premier League match last January. He required emergency surgery on ‘life-threatening injuries’ and was released eight days later.
Although he had originally hoped to return to football, Mason announced that he will take medical advice and hang up his boots. Cahill was quick to issue a public response via .
The captain wrote: ‘Devastated to hear today’s news from Ryan. Competing for a corner is something we’ve done thousands of times and to see those consequences for a top professional like Ryan is heartbreaking. Sending all my love to him and his family, and wishing him the best for the future.’
Mason had originally announced his plans to return to football in early 2018 and said in October that he was waiting for his skull to further recover before taking to the field again.
But while he has made a full physical recovery, his skull has not yet regained its full strength and the risks associated with another serious blow to the head has led to Tuesday’s decision.