Kilbane not masking effort
Republic of Ireland international pleased to still be playing
Last Updated: September 17, 2008 4:59pm
Kilbane: Wearing mask
Wigan midfielder Kevin Kilbane is showing his visible devotion to the Latics' cause - in the form of a face-mask.
Kilbane has donned the mask since fracturing his cheekbone in the 5-0 win against Hull City.
Originally expecting to be out for up to six weeks, he had an operation the next day and the surgeon then gave him the green light to play as long as he wore the mask to protect the bone.
The former Everton man has since played in two Republic of Ireland internationals and then in the 1-1 draw against Sunderland last Saturday.
Kilbane expects he will have to wear it again when the Latics travel to White Hart Lane to play Spurs on Sunday, but is pleased to be playing at all.
He told the Wigan Observer: "The surgeon gave me the confidence to play with a mask.
"When I got to Dublin they made a mould of my face and then they gave me the mask, it's good - when I'm playing I don't really notice it. It doesn't hinder my vision.
"Hopefully I won't have to wear it much longer - I've had a bit of stick about it!
"I'll probably have to wear it this week and we'll see after that.
"It's better than not being able to play, which is what I thought would happen after I did it."
While Spurs languish at the bottom of the top-flight after losing star strikers Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov, Kilbane knows it would be foolish to write the North London club off.
He added: "I know they've lost Keane and Berbatov, two great players, but they've got lots of quality.
"(David) Bentley's there, Darren Bent is a great striker and they have got quality players all the way through their team - we know it'll be a tough game."