Accrington defender Tom Bender has been released from hospital following
a serious injury
on Tuesday night.
The 18-year-old was knocked unconscious in a collision during the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie against Tranmere.
"I was massively relieved to be discharged from hospital," the teenager told the
"It shows I'm on the mend and I'd like to thank everyone from Accrington and Tranmere and the medical staff. We couldn't have wished for any more."
He added: "I wasn't expecting to get so much support from people inside and outside of football after the injury. It's been absolutely amazing.
“I saw the footage on TV and it was surreal. Because I don't remember anything, it's hard to believe that it actually happened”
"I've still got an absolutely banging headache and feel a bit sick but I've been told that's all normal for the injury I've had and that I can expect to have it from anything from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.
"I'm dealing with it fine though and as long as it's all normal then I'm happy."
The Wales under-21 international, who is on a season-long loan from Colchester, was treated by Accrington and Tranmere's medical team for 30 minutes on the pitch
until an ambulance arrived
. Subsequent brain and neck scans came back clear.
"The last thing I remember is going to my aunt's house last week, but from what I'm told it's probably best that I don't remember any of the Tranmere game," the defender continued.
Tom Bender Factfile
- Full name:
Thomas Joseph Bender
- Date of birth:
19 January 1993
- Place of birth:
- Playing position:
Colchester, Accrington (loan)
19 September 2009 for Colchester in a 2-0 win against Hartlepool
Wales under-21s - four appearances
"I saw the footage on TV and it was surreal. Because I don't remember anything, it's hard to believe that it actually happened. It sort of feels like a dream. Watching myself lying there unconscious was very strange."
Players were sent to their dressing rooms while the teenager was being treated by medics on the Crown Ground pitch, and shortly afterwards the match was abandoned.
"I can't thank everybody enough for the messages that I've received and of course everybody that helped me at Accrington, the Tranmere physio, [Tranmere manager]Les Parry and Kevin Benson who came out of the crowd to help me. It's all been amazing and I'm so grateful for everything," Bender added.