Chelsea Defender Gary Cahill 'Heartbroken' Over Ryan Mason Retirement

Ryan Mason's retirement after he failed to recover from a serious head injury sufficiently enough to return to the pitch has "devastated" Gary Cahill, the Chelsea defender said.

Mason announced his retirement from football on Tuesday (February 13) after he suffered a fractured skull following a head clash with Cahill while contesting a corner during Hull City's defeat to Chelsea in January 2017.

Mason, who played for Tottenham Hotspur and then Hull City, required emergency surgery at St Mary's Hospital in London and spent eight days in hospital.

"Devastated to hear today's news from Ryan," Cahill said on his official Twitter account.

"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, 26, released a statement announcing his immediate retirement from professional football, saying the risk to his life was too high.

Ryan Mason
Ryan Mason at KCOM Stadium, Hull, England, December 10, 2016. Mason announced his retirement on Tuesday (February 13). Ian MacNicol/Getty

"I have worked tirelessly in order to be able to return to the pitch," the statement read. "Unfortunately, having taken expert medical advice I now have no option but to retire due to the risks involved given the nature of my injury."

Mason progressed through the Tottenham academy and broke into the first-team during Mauricio Pochettino's first years at White Hart Lane, which saw him win an England cap.

Pochettino's assistant Jesus Perez posted a message to Mason via Twitter, along with a video of the former midfielder scoring from long range. He wrote: "When you changed it all for us mate .. we love you ..Always with you # COYS"

Pochettino said that "the door is open for me to help him" suggesting Mason could end up in a coaching career.

Mason began training with Hull City again, the club he joined for £13 million in the summer of 2016, but a comeback date was never announced.

In a statement, Hull said: "Ryan would like to put on record his thanks to all at the club who have aided his recovery to this point and he is indebted to them for their support and compassion over the past 12 months."