MICHAEL NELSON revealed today that he may never regain the feeling in his face after the horror fracture he suffered against Celtic.
The player had to have surgery and two metal plates inserted in the side of his face after a clash of heads with Amido Balde at Easter Road last month.
The challenge fractured his cheekbone in three places and, not only did the player have to go under the knife, he has also had to have a mask constructed to protect the injury while he continues to recover.
He will have to wear the headgear for at least the next five weeks until surgeons are satisfied that the injury has fully healed.
While the scars are beginning to heal on the outside, Nelson has suffered numbness down one side of his face since sustaining the injury and doctors this week told him that he may never fully recover.
Speaking exclusively to the Evening News, Nelson revealed: “The nerve was damaged across one of the fractures and that caused some numbness down the left-hand side of my face. My top teeth and gum on that side, my left nostril and cheek have all been affected and my surgeon said that it may reduce as time goes by but also said that I could have it for the rest of my life.
“It doesn’t seem to be subsiding at the minute but I just have to keep my fingers crossed that it does over the next few weeks or months.” Celtic manager Neil Lennon caused outrage among Hibs players and supporters after that match, claiming that some of the tackling from the home side had been ‘rugby-esque’ and ‘reckless’.
At the time, Nelson Tweeted a picture of his bruised face, while team-mate Rowan Vine voiced his anger at the comments.
However, Nelson is remaining philosophical and instead is focusing on making a return to the first team.
He has been unable to train since the game against the Parkhead side at the end of October and will not be allowed full contact even when wearing the mask for another week or so.
However, he hopes to have recovered sufficiently to join his team-mates for part of their session on Monday to give himself a chance of being involved in Terry Butcher’s first game in charge against St Mirren.
Nelson added: “It’s just one of those things and I am just focusing on getting myself fit enough again to be part of the side.”