Ireland’s hard-fought point against Wales paled into insignificance on Friday night once the news of a double leg break to captain Seamus Coleman was confirmed in the aftermath of the World Cup qualifier.
Neil Taylor’s collision with the Donegal man immediately had the watching Ireland and Everton fans hugely concerned, but there is now at least some semblance of positivity coming from the Ireland camp with manager Martin O’Neill confirming the surgery on Coleman’s leg has been a success.
Speaking to BBC Radio Five Live, the Derryman said the surgeons were pleased with how the operation went.
“It will take some time to heal, it’s a double break but it has been pinned up now and screwed in.
“I know the doctors and surgeons are all very, very pleased with the way the operation has gone and now it’s time for recuperation.
“It’s a devastating blow for the lad, he was having a phenomenal season at his club and a phenomenal season for us as captain.”
Pushed on timescale for when Coleman might be able to return to the fray, O’Neill admits he’s ‘not exactly sure’.
“At the minute 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.”
Whether it is to be ‘clear sailing’ or otherwise for the world-class right-back as he begins his recovery, there is undoubtedly a long road ahead for the former Sligo Rovers man as he comes to terms with this major setback.
In the grand scheme of things this injury will also hurt Ireland immensely in their quest to make it to the World Cup finals in 2018.
Coleman is most certainly Ireland’s most talented player and will be sorely missed for the latter half of the qualifying campaign, which includes games away to Wales and at home to Austria.
We wish Seamus a speedy recovery.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena