Hull City’s Ryan Mason insists he is determined as ever to return to first-team football for the Tigers eight months on from a sickening head clash with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill, which left him with a fractured skull.

The potentially life-threatening injury will require the 26-year-old’s continual patience with the need to err on the side of caution as he still has to wait for his skull to fuse together properly before he can return to football.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ The Debate, Mason said of his recovery: “Physically I’m completely fine. But my skull still needs to do a little bit of healing. It’s not fully fused together yet.

“But when that day comes hopefully I’m in the physical condition to go straight back in. Physically I am ready to go back in when it is safe and sensible.

“Mentally I’m in a positive place. I’ve had three to four months to fully focus on my body and make myself a better player for when I do come back.’

Despite returning to non-contract training with his teammates at Hull, Mason was unable to determine the time of his return as it is simply a waiting game, and he also revealed the Tigers are speaking to specialists about a skull cap he can wear during games, akin to the one donned by Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech.

He explained: “Right now I’m just waiting. It’s a bit of patience and the club have been great, the chairman’s been good. They are fully backing me and hopefully once it’s fused together fine there won’t be any problems.

“The doctor at the club and the chairman are seeking some advice. We are in the process of getting something made so I think that will probably be the sensible thing to do.

“I’m not going to play again unless it heals. It is healing and it will heal. So when it does heal I’ll have that added protection, for my family’s sake as well, for their piece of mind,” he added.