Seamus Coleman has suffered a double break in his leg and will have to have screws inserted to ensure the injury heals following a horrific tackle from Wales defender Neil Taylor during a heated World Cup qualifier.
Coleman was due to have an operation on Saturday morning and will then begin a long rehabilitation programme. Ireland’s captain was felled by a terrible challenge from Taylor in the second-half of the goalless draw in Dublin, left the pitch on a stretcher and was given oxygen by medical staff.
It is understood the 28 year-old has broken both the tibia and fibula bones in his lower right leg and the Everton full-back was in a lot of pain immediately after the incident on Friday night.
Coleman was taken immediately to hospital, where manager Martin O’Neill and assistant manager Roy Keane were able to visit him on Friday night.
O’Neill was diplomatic when asked about the tackle straight after the game, but the Ireland manager is likely to be far more critical when he speaks to the media ahead of Tuesday night’s friendly against Iceland.
Coleman, who was made captain by O’Neill after the retirement of Robbie Keane last summer, is expected to be out of action for at least six months, but has been buoyed by the news that other players have made a full recovery from similar injuries in the last few years.
There has been intense criticism of Taylor’s tackle, both in Ireland and in England, particualry as it came just a few seconds after Gareth Bale was extremely fortunate not to be shown a red card for an equally bad, studs-up lunge which connected with John O’Shea just below the knee.
Taylor immediately apologised to the Ireland bench after his red card and also tried to do the same to Ireland’s players after a bad-tempered game.
Wales manager Chris Coleman has also been caught up in the controversy as he claimed Ireland’s players had also been guilty of several bad tackles in the game as he tried to defend his players.
The former centre-back was adamant Taylor had not meant to hurt Coleman, resorting to the usual “he is not that type of player” defence while claiming he had not seen the tackle being made, only the aftermath.
He also infuriated members of the Irish media by indicating that Wales would appeal the yellow card shown to Bale for the O’Shea challenge, even though bookings can only be erased in cases of mistaken identity and it probably should have been a red card given how reckless the Real Madrid star had been.