A FORMER Burnley rugby captain has spoken of his ordeal after suffering horrific facial injuries following a freak accident with a garage door.

Lee Collins, 42, was left with a shattered cheekbone, fractured jaw and a shattered eye rim after he was hit in the face by a metal bar which came loose from his garage door.

On Sunday he underwent two hours of reconstructive surgery at Royal Blackburn Hospital, having two metal plates inserted into his face and three incisions.

Lee, from Redlees Road, Cliviger, said: “I had gone into the garage and was bending down to pick something up when I must have knocked the arm out of place.

“I didn’t even manage to pick up what I had bent down to get, when I was hit on the right side of my face with the metal bar.

“As soon as I did it happened I knew that it had caused some serious damage.

“I looked in the mirror about 30 seconds after and that side of my face had just completely swollen up.

“When my wife saw my face she went into a blind panic.

“Even though I’m annoyed that it happened, I do feel that I was actually lucky that it wasn’t a lot worse than it was.

“I was hit with the middle part of the bar, but if it had been the square end of the bar which had hit me then I would have most likely lost my eye."

After the accident happened on Sunday, May 18, Lee went to urgent care at Burnley General Hospital, and was then sent to triage at Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Scans revealed that more damage had been done to his face than was originally thought.

Lee, who owns a plumbing and bathroom fitting firm, added: “After the accident I went to see an eye specialist and luckily my eye is okay and I didn’t need any treatment.

“The scan I had showed that the injuries below the skin were a lot worse than what they thought from looking at my face, and there was a lot of trapped nerve and muscle damage.

“During the week pain was gradually getting worse. It was extremely painful.

“Now I have had the operation the pain has eased slightly but I’m still struggling to eat.

“I would like to thank the staff at Burnley General and Royal Blackburn Hospitals who looked after me.”