Seamus Coleman is beginning to come to terms with his injury but is still down about it, according to Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill.
The Everton defender suffered a double leg break in Ireland’s draw with Wales on Friday, following a harsh challenge from Neil Taylor. He has since undergone surgery and is expected to miss possibly as much as nine months of action. This would rule him out of playing again in this calendar year.
It’s a major blow to Coleman, Everton, and the Irish national team but O’Neill believes the player is now “coming to terms with it.”
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Iceland, O’Neill said (via the Daily Mail):
“I think he’s just beginning to come to terms with it.
“I saw him yesterday and he’s still pretty down about it. He’s not in as much pain, the operation went very well and it’s just a matter of coming to terms with it.
“As Seamus mentioned to me the other day, he just said that it has happened now, he can’t do anything about it and it’s what he does now in the next few months that is very, very important.”
When asked to describe his feelings immediately after the horrific injury had occurred, O’Neill continued:
“The first reaction is that you know you have lost a great player for a start, and you know the sort of pain that he’s going to be going through, obviously the immediate pain and then his recovery.
The Irish national team boss compared Coleman’s situation to a broken leg that Swedish striker Henrik Larsson once suffered. He then said he’s confident the full-back will return as good as ever.
“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, as I mentioned earlier at the start, he’s down, 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, so those type of things don’t just take five minutes to get over.
“But he’s very strong, he’s got a lot of good people around him, his family is very, very strong as well and he is positive that he will be back and as good as ever.”
O’Neill confirmed that the returning Robbie Brady will captain the side in the Iceland friendly, but hadn’t come to a decision on the armband longer term.
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena