O’Neill un­sure of Cole­man time­line for re­cov­ery

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: Ire­land foot­ball coach Martin O’Neill says doc­tors can­not give a fixed time for when Sea­mus Cole­man will re­turn to ac­tion af­ter he suf­fered a hor­rific dou­ble frac­ture of his right leg in their 2018 World Cup qual­i­fier with Wales on Fri­day.

The 28-year-old full-back and Ire­land skip­per suf­fered the in­jury in a hor­ror tackle by Neil Tay­lor, who was sent off.

O’Neill, whose side’s 0-0 draw main­tained their un­beaten record in the qual­i­fiers sit­ting sec­ond in the ta­ble be­hind Ser­bia, told the BBC his re­cov­ery would de­pend on sev­eral fac­tors.

“I’m not sure, I would only be guess­ing. Even the doc­tors and sur­geons wouldn’t be ter­ri­bly sure,” said O’Neill of the time­line for his re­cov­ery to full fit­ness.

“Some­times there are com­pli­ca­tions af­ter­wards and in­juries can be more pro­longed, other times it can be clean and clear sail­ing.

“It will take some time, but Sea­mus has great de­ter­mi­na­tion and some­times those things work very much in your favour, in terms of re­cov­ery.”

O’Neill, whose side play Euro 2016 quar­ter-fi­nal­ists Ice­land in Dublin in a friendly to­day, said he had vis­ited the Ever­ton star in hospi­tal both prior to and post oper­a­tion.

“He has re­alised ev­ery­thing that has hap­pened and is ob­vi­ously very dis­ap­pointed,” said O’Neill.

“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.

“I saw him the evening of the in­jury, he was fairly groggy. 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.” AFP

Ire­land’s Sea­mus Cole­man suf­fered a hor­rific leg break in a World Cup qual­i­fier against Wales on Fri­day.

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