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Barritt describes gruesome facial surgery

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Barritt describes gruesome facial surgery that will allow him to face Leinster

Brad Barritt will lead holders Saracens into their European Champions Cup quarter-final with Leinster with a titanium plate in his left cheek, inserted under local anaesthetic yesterday.

Barritt only discovered he had broken his cheekbone when he blew his nose after the win over Harlequins at the London Stadium and his face blew up and opted for surgery under local anaesthetic to ensure he would be able to train today with the rest of the team.

The former England centre had pictures taken of the procedure which involved a “shoehorn” being inserted into his mouth to create space through a cut in his gum for the plate and the only evidence of the surgery is some swelling on the left side of his face.

Barritt insists he is not taking any risk in playing with the plate and said:” I got an elbow in the face and my cheek is now stronger with the plate in it.

“I had surgery yesterday which took about 25 minutes to put a small plate in my cheek and thankfully due to the marvels of modern technology the could do it under local anaesthetic. It was much like a routine tooth operation with a horizontal cut in my cheekbone and titanium plate put in and now its stronger than the other side.

“This is game you don’t want to miss and I was confident going into today’s training session. It is the same risk as going into any game and it is more than coping with pain and they did a great job. They numbed the inside of the mouth and used a bit of shoehorn to pull the cheekbone away and I was conscious during all of the time and it is a surreal experience but I have had a lot more painful things in my time.

“I do have some pictures and some of the guys have seen them. I came off against Quins when I had a neck injury and only knew that it was broken when I blew my nose that evening and everything inflated.”

Scotland wing Sean Maitland said: “We couldn’t believe it when we saw the pictures after hearing he was going in for surgery. Then he is back training with the boys which was really surreal but it shows how tough he is. He (Brad) is the Terminator.”

Owen Farrell is rated as “50-50” to face Leinster and will be given fitness test on Friday while England lock George Kruis is fit to play after back trouble.

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Barritt describes gruesome facial surgery that will allow him to face Leinster