Corry Evans has opened up on his horror facial injury, revealing surgeons likened them to being in a car crash or hit with a hammer.

The Rovers midfielder suffered a fractured skull, broken nose and fractured eye socket in the early stages of January’s 1-1 draw with Preston at Ewood Park.

Evans has since undergone extensive surgery to correct the injuries, with scans showing his nose had been ‘pushed back 2cm in to his head’.

Metal plates were inserted during a six hour operation, with Evans reassured that his injury wouldn’t be life, or career, threatening, after an initial scan at Royal Blackburn in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

He is now stepping up his rehabilitation with medical staff at the club’s Brockhall training base but manager Tony Mowbray has continued to stress the 29-year-old will be given all the time required before returning to training full-time.

“The injury, or impact, was like something from a car crash or being hit with a baseball bat or hammer,” Evans revealed.

“It’s not something you associate with football. Putting it in to perspective it’s pleasing that I am where I am now and it’s not a lot worse.

“After my surgery the surgeon said that my nose was pushed back 2cm in to my head. I’d seen the first scan I had and it showed the front part of my forehead was pushed back in all fragments.

“I did my eye-socket as well, that was crushed. So there was a lot they had to fix.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Evans required several minutes of surgery on the pitch before being carried off on a stretcher just 12 minutes in to his 200th Rovers appearance.

His family were in attendance for his milestone match which was cut short when he bravely went in for an aerial challenge, only to be caught by the boot of Preston defender Tom Clarke as he attempted a clearance.

Opening up on the injury, the Northern Ireland international said: “It wasn’t anything malicious, I just went to head the ball, the Preston player didn’t see me coming and has gone to clear it with the outside of his foot and as I’ve headed it his boot has caught me inbetween my eyes.

“The medical team, St John’s Ambulance, they were straight over, took me in to the changing rooms where I was assessed. From there it was off to Blackburn Royal Hospital where they decided to do a CT scan because I was getting some discomfort in my head and my eyesight was giving me headaches.

“The CT scan showed a frontal lobe fracture, when I heard that I was scared at that stage. When you hear fractured skull you fear the worst but I was reassured pretty quickly that it wasn’t career, or life, threatening.

“Once I heard that it made it a lot easier to deal with.”

The surgery took place just over two weeks after the initial incident, with Evans revealing the extent of the scar across his forehead during an interview with BBC Northern Ireland.

He explained: “I had a cut from one ear, across the top of my head, to my other ear, peeling my face down, they had to build everything back up, put metal plates in, and get my nose as straight at they could.

“There were two slits under my eyes to insert plates and straighten it all.

“The surgery was great, probably took about five or six hours, and it was pretty painful for a week or so afterwards, but after I came off the painkillers and medication I’ve been back to myself.

“I’m getting on with day to day life as normal now.

“My wife, kids, mum and dad were at the game so it was probably quite hard on them to see me lying on the floor and get stretchered off. I’m sure they were pretty worried at the time.

“They’ve been great, supported me throughout the whole process I’ve been through and definitely made life a lot easier for me in these times. It’s great to have that support around you which you really need in times like these.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Mowbray has said the psychological battle, more than the physical, will be the biggest obstacle for Evans to overcome before pulling on a Rovers shirt again, but the midfielder doesn't have any fears over heading a ball again.

“Part of my rehab building up to getting back training will be learning to head a ball again. That will be a process where they start me heading foam balls, deflated balls, then building that up gradually to heading a blown up ball,” Evans admitted.

“I think when that comes I’ll be ready, I don’t think I’ll have any doubts about heading the ball or challenging for it again.”

With football now taking a back seat, due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus, Evans will continue his rehabilitation without any pressure of a comeback.

He was set to miss out on Northern Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off campaign, but with the tournament under threat, there is uncertainty about whether they will take place.

Evans’ main focus for now is on getting himself in a position to be able to train fully with the Rovers squad again, before hopefully playing a part in a play-off push when the season resumes.

"There is no rush from the club's side, they have not put any pressure on me and just let me get on with things in my own time," he said.

"But the surgeons and medical teams say it takes the bone six weeks after surgery to heal properly again and then another six weeks after that for the bone to be back to its strongest.

"After that I will be back in full contact training, but it will just be a case of when I'm ready. I've been doing a lot of work in the gym and, when the time comes to start heading a ball again, I will be ready.

"The lads have been doing really well. It would be nice if we could get into the play-offs and I could be in and around the squad again."