Toto Nsiala: Shrewsbury man plans to wear protective mask in Wembley EFL Trophy final

Toto Nsiala was stretchered off in the Good Friday defeat at Rochdale
Toto Nsiala was stretchered off in the Good Friday defeat at Rochdale

Shrewsbury Town defender Toto Nsiala may have to play in a mask to protect his fractured cheekbone if passed fit for this Sunday's EFL Trophy final.

The 26-year-old former Everton trainee suffered the injury in Town's 3-1 Good Friday defeat at Rochdale.

But he is one of three doubts for the Wembley meeting with Lincoln City.

"His face is still a bit swollen and there's no guarantee that he'll be fit, but the plan is to get a mask," Town boss Paul Hurst told BBC Shropshire.

"I'm not playing games with Lincoln. We just don't know much pain he's going to be in when he heads the ball.

"The good news is that he doesn't need an operation, so we should be able to get him out on the pitch at some point.

"We've seen many players play with masks that they've had made but each case is different. We'll just have to wait and see how he is.

"He's still on fluids, drinking shakes, and that's not great if you're building up to playing a 90-minute match. We're hoping it gets better as the week goes on."

To add to their concerns, winger Alex Rodman has missed their last two matches with back spasms and remains doubtful.

And captain Abu Ogogo's expected return from suspension is no longer guaranteed, after he suffered a knee injury in training.

Ogogo is three games into a four-match ban but, as it only applies to League One games, and not the Trophy, he would be eligible to play on Sunday.

Shrewsbury are second in League One, 28 places higher in the English pyramid than League Two play-off hopefuls Lincoln. But they are yet to win at Wembley, having lost on their three previous visits.

Men in masks

Football masks have been seen in various styles since Paul Gascoigne found himself on the wrong end of Dutch captain Jan Wouters' elbow in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley in 1993.

But instances of players wearing them have become more common.

From left: Pedro, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, John Terry, Paul Gascoigne and Nemanja Matic have all taken to the field in protective masks
From left: Pedro, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, John Terry, Paul Gascoigne and Nemanja Matic have all taken to the field in protective masks

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