Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman underwent surgery on Saturday morning, having broken his leg against Wales on Friday.
The Everton defender fractured his right tibia and fibula having been on the wrong end of a horror tackle by Welsh counterpart Neil Taylor, a foul that the Aston Villa man was promptly sent off for.
Regardless of how successful the surgery was, Coleman’s season is now over. Indeed, he is highly unlikely to play any further part in Ireland’s World Cup qualification campaign, as he faces at least six months on the sidelines while he recovers.
As part of an FAI statement, Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has backed his captain to make a full recovery, saying:
“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.”
The FAI have also confirmed that James McCarthy has returned to his club. The midfielder was initially named in the starting lineup on Friday but a late aggravation to a hamstring injury meant that he had to be replaced by David Meyler. He, along with Coleman, returns to Everton injured – which is likely to get a spiky response from Toffees manager Ronald Koeman next week.
Also leaving the international set up are Stoke City duo Glenn Whelan and Jonathan Walters, and Sunderland’s John O’Shea. Given the fact that all five of the above players were named in the initial starting eleven against Wales, O’Neill will be fielding a much-changed lineup for the friendly against Iceland at the Aviva next Tuesday.
It remains to be seen if Robbie Brady, suspended for the Wales match, will play from the start, but his inclusion in the squad strongly indicates that he will play some part in the fixture.
The remaining players underwent a light recovery session on Saturday morning, ahead of a return to full training on Monday.
Republic of Ireland Squad for Friendly against Iceland
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph, Keiren Westwood, Colin Doyle
Defenders: Cyrus Christie, Stephen Ward, Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce, John Egan, Andy Boyle
Midfielders: Aiden McGeady, James McClean, Jeff Hendrick, David Meyler, Callum O’Dowda, Jonny Hayes, Conor Hourihane, Daryl Horgan, Robbie Brady, Eunan O’Kane
Forwards: Shane Long, Kevin Doyle