Former Hull City manager Mike Phelan has backed Ryan Mason to return to the pitch after suffering a serious head injury against Chelsea on Sunday.
The 25-year-old, who joined the Tigers from Tottenham Hotspur under Phelan's management last summer, needed an oxygen mask when he was stretchered off following a clash of heads with Gary Cahill in a 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge.
Hull later confirmed in a statement that Mason suffered a skull fracture and was in a "stable condition" in hospital after undergoing an operation.
Phelan, who was replaced by Marco Silva after getting sacked at the start of the month, believes that once Mason has recovered, he will return to action.
"In this day and age the medical side of things is massively improved," Phelan told talkSPORT. "I think it is a confidence thing when you have had a bang on the head, but other players have taken knocks [and come back].
"You see in rugby, they take knocks regularly to the head and they carry on. It will be a character test but, first and foremost, he recovers and recovers well and takes as long as he needs to recover.
"Don't rush, do as you're told from the medical side, and there is no reason why he shouldn't be able to play again."
Mason is currently being treated at St Mary's hospital in West London.body check tags ::