Ireland’s Séamus Coleman undergoes surgery on double leg fracture
Captain suffered a double fracture during goalless World Cup qualifier with Wales
Republic of Ireland captain Séamus Coleman underwent surgery on Saturday as he faces up to a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The FAI have confirmed the 28-year-old Everton full back suffered a double fracture of his lower right leg during Friday night’s 0-0 World Cup qualifier draw with Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Coleman needed the surgery after fracturing his right tibia and fibula, and is under the care of the FAI’s Orthopaedic Surgeon, Professor John O’Byrne, and former Ireland Olympic swimmer Gary O’Toole, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon.
Ireland manager Martin O’Neill said on Saturday: “Seamus suffered a serious leg injury and has undergone surgery. He has had an exceptional season with both club and country, and he will be a big loss.
“But Seamus is so mentally strong that when he has fully recovered he will be as brilliant as before.”
Coleman was hurt in a challenge by Wales wing-back Neil Taylor, who was sent off as a result, 69 minutes into a stormy affair.
He was treated at length on the pitch and was given oxygen as he was comforted by team-mate Shane Long, and eventually left on a stretcher.
Coleman was taken straight to St Vincent’s Hospital, where he was due to have screws inserted to help repair the damage on Saturday.
He was visited by O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane on Friday night as graphic pictures of the damage circulated on social media.
Hope seamus Coleman gets better soon. Horrible tackle— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) March 24, 2017
Thoughts and best wishes are with Seamus Coleman tonight the result of the game is put into perspective when something like this happens 💚— Paul McGrath (@Paulmcgrath5) March 24, 2017
The former Sligo Rovers winger was appointed Ireland captain by O’Neill during the Euro 2016 finals in France and has become one of the mainstays of his team.
Friday’s draw left Ireland locked together with Serbia at the top of Group D at the halfway stage of the campaign, but it remains to be seen what part he will be able to play in the rest of it.
Coleman’s plight prompted support from colleagues and fans alike with former Everton team-mate Leon Osman backing him to come back better and stronger for his misfortune.
Osman told the club’s website, www.evertonfc.com: “I’m absolutely gutted for him. I wish him all the best and a speedy recovery.
“Knowing him, though, he’ll come back better, fitter and stronger. That’s the type of character he is.
“He was playing for Sligo Rovers in the Irish league when he was 20, so he’s got a real appreciation for the game. He’s a real nice, genuine lad — he doesn’t carry any of the arrogance a lot of footballers have.
“I’ve got all the time in the world for him. He’s one of the genuine nice guys in football. It’s upsetting it’s happened to any player, never mind such a top guy in Seamus.
“Seamus is the type of guy who will be devastated, but he’ll work his socks off to get back as quick as he can.
“Watching the game, the moment it happened, Evertonians were devastated to lose such an influential character — he’s a future captain of Everton Football Club. It’s a big loss and everyone felt it.
“Everyone loves Seamus and will be desperate to get him back as soon as he possibly can.”
There were good luck messages on Twitter too, with Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney posting: “Hope Seamus Coleman gets better soon. Horrible tackle.”
Former Everton midfielder Peter Reid wrote: “Seamus Coleman, keep your head up lad, you’ll be back stronger.”
Former Ireland stars Shay Given and Paul McGrath too passed on their best wishes.
Given posted: “Wishing Everton Seamus Coleman a speedy and full recovery. Stay positive pal, and you will be back to your best again.”
McGrath wrote: “Thoughts and best wishes are with Seamus Coleman tonight. The result of the game is put into perspective when something like this happens.”
While Coleman’s injury represents a massive blow to his country, it is equally devastating to his club, who said on Twitter: “The support of all Evertonians is with Seamus after he was stretchered off at the Aviva during tonight’s game against FAWales.”