Marco Silva says Hull City will play the rest of the season for Ryan Mason after the midfielder suffered a fractured skull.
Mason was rushed to hospital after a clash of heads with Gary Cahill in Sunday’s defeat at Chelsea and is making “excellent progress” after surgery.
The midfielder is expected to miss the rest of the season, but Silva hopes to bolster his squad with signing of Jamaica winger Leon Bailey.
Silva said a move for the in-demand Genk star was “not an easy deal”, but he hopes his remaining players can pull together without Mason, starting with Thursday’s EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester United, where they will try to overturn a 2-0 deficit.
“Nothing has changed from yesterday, but he is in good spirits,” said Silva. “But as a team we need to stay strong stay together and get behind Ryan Mason.
“We’ll be going to see him, when we go down on Saturday [for Sunday’s FA Cup tie at Fulham], it is not easy for him to get visitors, but we will be there.
“For me it’s not easy to put both things in the balance, he was a really important player for the team, but we need to continue our work in the window. It is clear we are light in midfield.
“It is not easy for our squad, but we need to be strong together, fight together and support Ryan.
“We have a good atmosphere, but in these moments we play for our fans, for ourselves and for Ryan for sure.
“The response has been fantastic, because it is important to support his family and the player together.
“In these moments we need to forget everything and concentrate on him.”
With Lazar Markovic signed on loan from Liverpool and a potential deal in the works for Bailey, talk around Robert Snodgrass’ future has intensified.
The Tigers’ top scorer missed the trip to Stamford Bridge and will again be missing against United due to a muscle injury, but Silva says his absence has nothing to do with interest from other teams.
“He continues training with the team, but he won’t be available for the match, I hope he stays,” the Portuguese explained.