News today, just one day after having his depressed cheekbone operated on, that Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi is going out to Detroit, where he will be fitted with a handmade facial mask.
Shola Ameobi – this lad’s got a big heart
And the potentially very good news this morning, is that the striker could return by the end of the month, playing in the face mask.
Newcastle medics had estimated the 29 year-old could be out for up to two months, but that could be reduced dramatically, with the use of the face mask.
This is what Alan Pardew said today – and it’s good news:
“We’ve got good news on Shola,” “We’re sending him to America; there’s a basketball guy who specializes in protective masks for American NBA players.”
“He’s the only guy in the world who does that kind of thing and we’re going to use him to protect Shola’s cheekbone, so Shola could be back in two or three weeks.”
The expert is Jeremy Murray, who works from his Detroit studio, and has fitted more than 500 masks for NBA players suffering from damaged cheekbones and damaged eye sockets.
And of course there is absolutely no doubting the courage of local lad Shola Ameobi, even though he still gets some stick from some of the fans, because this lad will be more than willing to play with a face mask in the cause of Newcastle United.
But of course it must protect his injury.
“Shola’s sending out the signals that he’ll play with it if he’s given the guarantee that it will protect him and I think it will,” “The guy designs the mask to reflect the injury.”
“I’d say the NBA is more physical than the Premier League, when it comes to cheekbone and eye socket injuries; you’ve got arms everywhere and rebounds and stuff, so if someone in the NBA, a 6ft 8in giant, is wearing one of those masks, I think I’d feel confident wearing it in a football match.”
“Shola’s is a nasty injury and if he doesn’t feel confident going into challenges then there’s no point, so we’ve got to get him out to America, get it made and get him comfortable with it.”
So this is very good news this morning, and we had a hint of it a couple of days ago, when the Newcastle Journal reported the Newcastle medical staff was hoping Shola could return long before two months, which was the initial length of time they thought he could be out of action.
Shola would have to get sued to training with it and then in a match situation, but we’ve seen other footballers wearing the masks, and they seem to do OK, but of course it would have to protect his cheekbone.
And it also seems the news yesterday, from the Daily Mail, that Chris Hughton had the WBA job all locked up was not exactly accurate, as WBA announced yesterday they had yet to make a decision on a new manager, but we still hope Chris gets that job, which would be perfect for him.