Ryan Christie has opened up on the extent of the facial injuries he suffered in a clash with Aberdeen’s Dominic Ball.
Half an hour into the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen the Celtic midfielder headed the ball clear when his former team-mate’s forehead smashed into the side of his face.
Christie was laid out cold as paramedics rushed to the scene, after a seven minute break he was carefully stretchered off before the game resumed.
The midfielder had to look on from the sidelines as Celtic clinched the SPFL title and Scottish Cup with his goal five months earlier clinching the Betfred Cup.
Christie made his return to action in the 6-1 win over Pinkafeld as he put the memories of Hampden into the past.
“The doc who did the operation told me has been doing facial surgeries for 20 years or so,” the midfielder told The Sun. “He said it was the worst one he has ever seen. The doc said he has treated people who have taken a baseball bat across the face and looked better than me.
“That’s why the surgery was over four hours, once they got in they realised it needed a serious bit of work. Credit to him, and I’ll forever be grateful for the job he has done.
“He had to cut in below my eye, up through my mouth, and into the side of my head. I’ve now got five plates inserted — four of them across my cheek and one down the side of my head.
“I had a broken eye socket, a broken cheekbone, a broken jaw and a break up the side of my head as well. The shape I was in at one point it was pretty scary. I still notice it looking in the mirror, but people say to me now that they don’t notice it.”
Christie got 45 minutes against Pinkafeld and will be back in action on Saturday when Celtic take on SK Weiner. Neil Lennon is expected to introduce some of his international players for that match.