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WELCOME BREAK FOR PAUL

For Paul Stalteri the international break has proved a timely intervention in the season.

For Paul Stalteri the international break has proved a timely intervention in the season.

The full-back suffered a nasty gash to the back of his head last time out against Charlton following a collision with Darren Bent. The England squad man was forced from the pitch, while Paul opted for the 'Smurph' look and had his head bandaged before continuing.

The Canadian international received stitches to his sizeable wound after the game and reports the healing process is coming along.

"Yes, slowly - it's a good job we've got a bit of break and some time to recuperate and get myself fit for the next game," he reflected on Thursday afternoon before recalling the second half incident at the Valley.

I just remember a clash of heads. I didn't really feel anything at the time but when I put my hand to my head a pool of blood came out

"It has been a little bit sore but I have been okay. I was lucky there was no concussion or headaches. I maybe should have come off and probably would have if we were leading, but the game was tight and I wanted to stay on the pitch.

"Hopefully I will have the stitches out in four or five days and I can get on with things."