STEEL PINS were inserted at the weekend in the broken right leg of Ireland soccer captain Seamus Coleman.
He was caught by a reckless tackle during last Friday's 0-0 World Cup Qualifier between Ireland and Wales. See link below
Shortly after 8am Saturday morning Coleman was on the operating table in St Vincent's Hospital.
He had been taken there by ambulance less than 12 hours earlier from the nearby Aviva Stadium.
Sligo Rovers most famous export to English football had to receive oxygen before he was stretchered from the field.
Fans stood to applaud one of the biggest 'finds' in Irish soccer in recent decades as he was taken from the stadium.
manager Martin O'Neill, who had made Coleman captain of his country,
said the injury came at the end of his best-ever season.
O'Neill echoed the (public) thoughts of many associated with Irish football and refused to criticise Wales player Neil Taylor.
Soccer pundit and ex Ireland international Eamon Dunphy had no such reservations, however.
Writing in The Irish Daily Star, Dunphy said ''Wales crossed a line you should never cross.
Added Dunphy: ''Taylor's foul was filthy, vicious and nasty. There is no excusing what he did.''
Pundit Pat Dolan writing in the same paper called it ''a horrific cowardly tackle.''
Taylor's reckless tackle did all the damage in the 69th minute of a game which was always headed for a draw.
Coleman is out for the remainder of the 2016/2017 season in Premiership football with his club Everton.
It remains unclear when he will be fully fit to resume his playing career at the highest level.
On Saturday afternoon, Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed what many suspected as soon as Taylor's reckless tackle scattered Coleman in Friday night's fixture.
Namely, that the leg break sustained by the Ireland skipper is a compound fracture.
Some British media described the tackle on Coleman by the Aston Villa defender as ''hideous.''
The Italian referee gave tackler Taylor a straight red card and sending-off.