Craig lets the mask slip for return date with Norwich City

Millwall defender Tony Craig is looking forward to playing without a protective mask for the first time in almost two months against Norwich. The 24-year-old suffered a fractured eye socket and cheekbone during the Lions' only home defeat, against Wycombe on November 21.

Millwall defender Tony Craig is looking forward to playing without a protective mask for the first time in almost two months against Norwich.

The 24-year-old suffered a fractured eye socket and cheekbone during the Lions' only home defeat, against Wycombe on November 21. Within a month he returned to action and has made seven league and cup appearances with the aid of the mask.

Tomorrow's game against the Canaries will be the first time this year that Craig will play without his face protected - he wore the mask at Carrow Road on Boxing Day - and he told the club's official website: “I'm really looking forward to it.

“It was nice on Wednesday when I went to see the surgeon and he said I don't have to wear the mask now. It's different because it's a good few weeks since I haven't had it on so it's good to be back to normal again.


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“It interfered with my vision a bit in training and it was a bit of a nonsense really but I had to wear it to protect the cheekbone and the eye socket and it got me back playing in half the time so I'm certainly not going to complain. In games it was fine once I got the adrenalin pumping and I didn't realise it was on.”

He added: “It's one of those injuries that happens in football and I certainly wouldn't wish it on anyone else because it wasn't pleasant but I've moved on now and I'm looking forward to the game against Norwich.”

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Meanwhile, Millwall winger Dave Martin will not figure in tomorrow's match as he looks certain to join Derby next week on loan.

The 24-year-old, who will be out of contract in the summer, was on the verge of a deadline day switch to Pride Park only for the move to fall through.

But Rams boss Nigel Clough wants to take Martin when the loan window reopens and Millwall counterpart Kenny Jackett has withdrawn him from his squad to face the Canaries.

“We reluctantly accepted the bid because we haven't been able to get Dave to sign a new contract this year, so unfortunately halfway through the season we have to take what we can because we would lose him for nothing in the summer,” said Jackett.

“From our point of view there is an offer of a contract on the table for the player. It obviously hasn't been accepted and he isn't going to sign it, so the next thing is if there is a bid then reluctantly we will take it. Dave will not be involved in the Norwich game.”

Former City loan player James Henry will not figure in the squad, either, after returning to Reading early from a loan spell with the Lions because of injury. Henry is fit again but Chris Hackett's outstanding form makes his return unlikely.

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