Wednesday 18 January 2012
Sunderland's masked goalkeeper Simon Mignolet says he is making good progress as he returns to full fitness following the facial injury he suffered against Aston Villa.
The 24-year-old suffered a fractured eye socket and broken nose in a collision with Emile Heskey in the 2-2 draw in October and has worn a distinctive protective mask since returning to action.
Mignolet played in the New Year's Day win over Manchester City when stand-in Keiren Westwood hurt himself in the build-up, and insists the mask does not bother him.
"The only way to get going again is by playing matches"
- Simon Mignolet
"I'm aware of it in the early stages of the warm-up, but once I get going it's fine," he said.
"When I went to have it fitted they put plaster over my face to create a mould and make sure it fits perfectly. I am very happy with the job the consultant did."
Mignolet said he felt he was back in his stride after returning to action.
"The first couple of games are always difficult after you come back and I only had four days' training before the Manchester City game," he said.
"I had to pick things up and I've been quite happy with my play. The only way to get going again is by playing matches.
"I have been very pleased with how things have gone so far."