The Czech goalkeeper was back in goal barely a week after receiving 50 stitches for a nasty facial injury that he suffered in training. Although Chelsea were able to provide him with a custom-made chin strap, his doctor tried to discourage him from putting himself at risk.
"It was a bit of a risk to decide to play this game but I have been missing football for such a long time," said the 25-year-old.
"So when I got the protection for my face I decided to ask the docs if they would let me play.
"He was not completely happy about it but he respected my decision and it was good to be back on the pitch.
"I wanted to play. I wasn't forced to play and I had no fear before the game because I knew the wound was protected.
"I have had bad luck all season so I was hoping that nothing would go wrong this time.
"It was a little bit different for me to wear the mask but as I said in the end I was happy to be back on the pitch.