Barrow AFC midfielder Jason Taylor has had to play with a protective mask for two months, but he will finally be rid of it by the time Saturday’s match at Boreham Wood comes about.

The 32-year-old admits he will be pleased to see the back of it, having had to wear it during matches and training since having his cheekbone and eye socket fractured in the closing stages of the game against Sutton United at the start of November.

He was back playing just over two weeks later with the ‘Zorro style’ mask, which he played on without several weeks before he was supposed to after it was ripped off during the 1-0 win at AFC Fylde on New Year’s Day.

Its last sighting for Bluebirds supporters was in the 2-0 victory over Bromley last Saturday that kept AFC three points clear at the top of the National League.

Taylor said: “I just brushed it off when it came off against Fylde, I wasn’t even that bothered. It’s not been the easiest thing to be running around in, to be honest, when you’re trying to head the ball.

“When you’re getting about it’s obviously a bit fiddly, but I’m done with it now, it’s been 12 weeks since the actual injury and I was told I needed to wear it for 12 weeks. I’m actually glad to see the back of that mask now.

“I’ve got to wear it for this week in training, but come Saturday I’ll be mask-free.”

Playing with an extra accessory hasn’t been the only thing Taylor has had to deal with during the last couple of months, as he was struck down with pneumonia in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

It led to him spending several days in hospital and caused him to lose a considerable amount of weight, meaning he had to build his strength back up once he had recovered.

Taylor feels he is now back to 100 per cent, saying: “I feel like I’m back up to speed now - I’ve played in the last four games where we’ve got some great results, which is obviously pleasing for myself, coming back in.

“I do feel like I’m back up to speed and full of running.”

On the debilitating experience of having to battle through pneumonia, Taylor added: “It got quite concerning throughout the week, as I was struggling to breathe by the weekend and I ended up spending three nights in hospital.

“They gave me the right medication and everything and now I’m back up and running. It was just one of those things that you’ve got to get on with.”