Republic of Ireland skipper Seamus Coleman has had surgery following a horrific leg break in Friday’s goalless draw against Wales.
The Everton full-back, 28, suffered tibia and fibula fractures in his right leg following a bad challenge from Neil Taylor, who was given a red card.
“Seamus suffered a serious leg injury and has undergone surgery,” said Republic manager Martin O’Neill.
Coleman was given oxygen before being carried off at the Aviva Stadium.
The Donegal man was taken straight to St Vincent’s University Hospital immediately after the incident and had surgery on Saturday morning.
“Captain Seamus Coleman, who went off injured during the game, underwent surgery on Saturday morning after fracturing his right tibia and fibula, under the care of the FAI’s orthopaedic surgeon, Professor John O’Byrne and Mr Gary O’Toole, consultant orthopaedic surgeon,” said a Football Association of Ireland statement.
Mr O’Toole is well known in Irish sporting circles as a former Olympic swimmer.
Coleman’s serious leg break happened midway through the second half of the World Cup qualifier.
“He has had an exceptional season with both club and country, and he will be a big loss,” added Republic boss O’Neill.
“But Seamus is so mentally strong that when he has fully recovered he will be as brilliant as before.”
Wales manager Chris Coleman said defender Taylor was “despondent” following the game.
“First and foremost, the most important thing is Seamus Coleman,” he said. “We are told that it is not so good, which we are sorry for.
“Neil Taylor is not really that type of player, but it’s a tough one for Seamus. Our thoughts are with him. I have not seen it again.”
Everton return to Premier League action with the Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, 1 April.
Everton midfielder James McCarthy was scheduled to start for the Republic, but was withdrawn from the team-sheet before kick-off because of a hamstring injury.
McCarthy has been released from the Republic squad for Tuesday’s friendly with Iceland along with John O’Shea, Glenn Whelan and Jonathan Walters.
O’Shea needed stitches in a leg wound after being injured in a sliding challenge from Gareth Bale, which resulted in the Real Madrid star receiving a booking which will rule him out of Wales’ next qualifier in Serbia on 11 June.
The draw in Dublin meant the Republic missed out on returning to the top of Group D, after Serbia beat Georgia earlier on Friday, with Wales four points behind in third.
The Republic’s next Group D qualifier is at home to Austria, also on 11 June.
‘Get well soon, Seamus’
Coleman’s Everton team-mate Devastated of what happened. Hope you have a speedy recovery my friend, best wishes for you. You will come back even stronger!!! SeamusColeman.
Arsenal right-back Get well soon @seamiecoleman23!! #RightBackUnit
Irish 20-time champion jockey Gutted for Seamus Coleman. Hopefully he’ll have speedy recovery
Actor and television presenter Stay strong Seamus Coleman. Every true football fan wishes you a strong recovery x