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O'Neill confirms successful surgery for Coleman following double leg break

“It will obviously take some time but Seamus has got great determination,” the Ireland boss said.

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman is comforted by manager Martin O'Neill while being stretchered off during Friday night's draw with Wales.
Ireland captain Seamus Coleman is comforted by manager Martin O'Neill while being stretchered off during Friday night's draw with Wales.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

SEAMUS COLEMAN UNDERWENT a successful operation yesterday but Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill says it’s still too early to put a timeframe on his captain’s return to action.

Following a tackle by Wales full-back Neil Taylor, Coleman suffered a fracture to his right tibia and fibula during Friday night’s 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium, which ended goalless.

Having been operated on yesterday by the FAI’s orthopaedic surgeon, Professor John O’Byrne, and Mr Gary O’Toole, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, the Everton defender is unlikely to be back on the pitch before the end of 2017.

“On the evening afterwards he was obviously taken to hospital,” O’Neill told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme this morning. “He was very groggy. He had the operation yesterday morning at 8.30. That was successful. Naturally, when he realised everything that has happened, he was obviously very disappointed.

“It will take some time to heal. It was a double break. But it has been pinned up now and screwed in, and I know that the doctors and surgeons are all very, very pleased with the way the operation has gone.

“Now it’s time for recuperation. It will obviously take some time but Seamus has got great determination and sometimes these things work very much in your favour, in terms of recovery.

“It’s a devastating blow for the lad. He’s having a phenomenal season at his club and a phenomenal season for us as captain of the team, so it’s a big blow for club and country and obviously for the lad.”

Neil Taylor is sent off Referee Nicola Rizzoli Neil Taylor receives a red card from referee Nicola Rizzoli. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Ireland still have five games to play in a qualifying group which concludes with October’s return fixture in Wales. Coleman isn’t expected to feature again in the campaign to reach Russia, but O’Neill is unsure when he’ll be available again.

He said: “I’m not exactly sure, I must admit. I would only be guessing. At this minute I think that even the doctors and surgeons wouldn’t be terribly sure. Sometimes there are complications afterwards and injuries can be more prolonged. Other times it can be clean and clear sailing and everything okay, but it’s very hard to say at this stage.”

O’Neill described Neil Taylor’s tackle, as well as Gareth Bale’s on John O’Shea, as “poor challenges”, but when asked if he’s angry at Taylor, he said: “I think that’s not for me now at this moment. But I think that they’re poor challenges, I must admit.”

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Paul Dollery

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