David Raya admits he could never have imagined he would be back in action so quickly after a sickening collision left him feeling his ‘face was fully broken’.

Raya thought he would require immediate surgery after being taken to hospital in the closing stages of the 1-1 draw with West Brom on October 27.

However, the 23-year-old, with the use of a protective mask, was able to play in Saturday’s draw with Rotherham United after the injury wasn’t as bad as first feared.

He will need nose reconstruction surgery, but has postponed that until the summer so to not face up to eight weeks on the sidelines.

“I thought when it happened at the time that my face was fully broken,” Raya told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“It felt like a big crack in my face, so I thought I would need surgery straight away.

“I felt like my nose and my head wasn’t right.

“The main thing was that I didn’t get knocked out or anything so that gave me the belief a bit more.

“I wasn’t expecting to be back this quick.

“But when I saw the specialist on Wednesday before the game he told me that if the swelling went down and the stitches came out, they’d be happy for me to play with a mask.

“That was great news and I just pushed myself in training so that I could be back.”

Raya will wear a protective mask for the next six weeks, and will be fitted with a new one during the international break now the swelling has continued to go down.

He admits he had a wry smile on his face when he saw a comment from his manager, Tony Mowbray, that he doesn’t look as handsome as he once did.

But on the decision to hold off with the surgery on his nose, he said: “We had the choice to do it now or at the end of the season.

“It’s not impeding me to breathe or anything and if I had it now then I would be out for six to eight weeks. I think it’s the right decision to wait, even though my nose isn’t the same, I think it’s right to wait.

“I’ve got a bit of stick for the mask, it’s part of the game and now I’m back I will try and help the team as much as I can.”

Raya returned to Spain in the week following the injury but trained for three days in the lead up to the Rotherham home game when he indicated to his manager he was able to play.

The ‘keeper allayed fears over how psychologically the injury may have affected him, believing it to be just a hazard of the job.

He added: “That’s part of my job and the reason that the mask is there to protect myself for the next six weeks and after that it will be back to normal.

“It can happen to anyone, it can happen with a header to a centre back, so that won’t change my type of play or anything.”

With all three substitutions made, Richie Smallwood took over goalkeeping duties for the closing stages at West Brom as Rovers held out for a 1-1 draw.

Having not been knocked out, Raya was able to follow the game on social media, and actually studied clips of Smallwood’s goalkeeping skills after receiving footage from the video analyst.

“I was in the ambulance and following the game on Twitter.

“On the way back home, we normally get the replay from the video analyst, so I watched the last 15 minutes and although it was a bit of a scramble, I think he did all right.”