05/03/2012 15:05 GMT | Updated 05/03/2012 15:19 GMT

Juan Jose Padilla, Matador Gored Through Face, Makes Comeback (Pictures)

A matador who was gored through the face in a horrific bullfighting injury has made his comeback after less than six months.

Juan Jose Padilla, 38, suffers from partial facial paralysis, lost the sight in one eye and speaks with a lisp after he was gored by a 1,120lb bull in Zaragoza last October.

In the incident the bull's horn tore through his lower jaw and up towards his eyeball.

The matador stood up and said "I can't see, I can't see anything" as blood streamed from his face, before leaving the ring.

He was forced to undergo a five-hour operation to save his life and repair damage his face and eyes. His face was rebuilt with titanium plates but doctors were unable to restore the sight to his eye.

Padilla now wears an eyepatch and goes by the nickname of "the pirate".

But less than six months later the matador returned to the ring to fight another bull in front of 5,400 people in Olivenza's 158-year-old bullring.

He said: "This is like a dream come true after so many months. I am fully aware that nobody thought I would be back.

"But I am not a hero, just someone who has been given the chance to stay alive and continue his passion."

He was carried out of the ring on the shoulders of the other matadors after embracing his father following the display.

Bullfighting has come under renewed attack in Spain in recent years, and was banned in Catalonia in 2011.

Animal rights groups and other campaigners say it is a cruel and distressing spectacle.

New prime minister Mariano Rajoy enjoys bullfights, however, and broadcasts on national television recently resumed after several years.

Padilla, formerly known as the Cyclone of Jerez, was one of the stars at the annual festival.

"He's been looking forward so much to starting this new phase in his life," said the matador's manager, Diego Robles.

Below: Padilla is gored in the original incident which took the sight in one of his eyes.