Everton are confident Seamus Coleman will make it back from his career-threatening double-leg break.
The Toffees’ Republic of Ireland international defender is highly unlikely to play again in 2017 after his tibia and fibia were snapped in a sickening tackle by Wales’ Neil Taylor during a World Cup qualifier on Friday night.
Right-back Coleman could be out for a full year, but that is seen as good news by his Merseyside club amid fears that the injury was so severe it could have prevented him from ever kicking a ball in anger again.
The best-case scenario would see him sidelined for seven to nine months.
The 28-year-old had surgery in Dublin to fix the fracture, and afterwards, specialists declared the procedure a big success.
And his club boss Ronald Koeman has been briefed that the defender can make a complete recovery.
Koeman is happy about that – but far less pleased with Ireland’s treatment of fellow Evertonian James McCarthy.
“I saw Seamus at the hospital on Sunday and he is positive that he will be back and as good as ever,” Ireland boss Martin O’Neill said yesterday.
“Great players have broken their legs and come back, and Seamus, obviously it’s very early for him to start considering all those things, but he is positive.
“Naturally, he is still pretty down about it – as he would be as the realisation that he is going to be out of action for quite some considerable time has dawned on him.
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O’Neill and Chris Coleman react to Seamus Coleman injury
“He’s still coming to terms with it and those things don’t just take five minutes to get over.”
Everton have been fully briefed on the surgery and Koeman was in upbeat mood on Monday, as he explained he had spoken to the player.
“The medical staff here at Everton are in contact with the medical staff of the Republic of Ireland and we will continue to liaise closely,” Koeman said.
“There is a lot of hard work now, and Seamus will face a lengthy recovery period, but he is a really strong character and we will support him throughout this.
“He will have a great team around him every step of the way, and with his extended family at Everton he will be get through this over the coming months.”
Everton are still angry about Ireland’s treatment of their midfielder James McCarthy, who was also injured on Friday night.
McCarthy was in the original starting XI but was pulled out after hamstring trouble during the warm-up, and Goodison chiefs are furious because he will now be sidelined for several weeks.
Ireland’s decision to play him went against Everton’s medical advice to continue his rehab for another fortnight.
They felt he wasn’t ready for a competitive match, but that he could have been fit to play in the Mersey derby this coming Saturday.
It was confirmed on Monday that world football’s governing body FIFA will pay Coleman’s wages of around £50,000 a week while he is out of action, under their Club Protection Programme.