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Surgery successful: Cesc Fabregas's nose is broken no more!

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

It was a parting gift from Charlie Adam in early April, something extra to remember the season by.  Not content with lobbing Thibaut Courtois with a 60-yard bomb from midfield, the Stoke City midfielder menace to society, the world's oldest-looking 29-year-old also smashed his elbow into Fabregas's face and didn't even bother to say sorry.

Cesc had been wearing a protective mask ever since -- though sometimes only for the first halves of games, clearly bothered by it to by some extent.  Chelsea official says that he was "having difficulty breathing," and I'm sure the combination of broken nose and a protective mask wasn't helping in that regard.  Football is a contact sport so he will probably have to still wear one during Spain friendlies and training (he's skipping our post-season tour), but after a successful surgery, the Chelsea midfielder can at least look forward to a mask-free next season.

That's what he looks like without a mask, if you don't remember.

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