Ireland lament 'loss' as Coleman has surgery

"I was lucky considering happened to Seamus".

Wales manager Chris Coleman said Taylor had gone into the Republic dressing room after the game to see the Ireland captain, although he did not think he had managed to do so.

During the course of lengthy on-field treatment, Coleman was given oxygen and it was at this point that Ledley was shown on television coverage.

"I'm not sure, I would only be guessing", said O'Neill.

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill is hopeful the 28-year-old will work hard to return as soon as possible, although he isn't clear just when that will be.

"He is a really strong character and he has a great family around him and we, his extended family at Everton, will be here for him to help him get through this over the coming days, weeks and months".

His plight prompted support from colleagues and opponents alike with Wales midfielder Joe Ledley hitting out after social media users accused him of laughing as the defender was treated by medical staff.

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Ireland still have five games to play in a qualifying group which concludes with October's return fixture in Wales.

With a number of injuries hampering the squad, especially in central defence, O'Neill has included Richard Keogh and John O'Shea at centre back.

At the end of a tense night in Dublin, where emotions were still running high long after the final whistle, Martin O'Neill sounded like a man in a state of shock as he reflected on the terrible moment when Séamus Coleman reached out to hold on to his broken right leg. I was just talking to Seamus, teaching him how to breathe through it.' He remembered it all.

There were good luck messages too from Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and former Ireland team-mate Shay Given among others.

McGrath wrote: "Thoughts and best wishes are with Seamus Coleman tonight".

Similarly, Glenn Whelan, who is also undoubtedly a senior figure within the Irish squad, is no longer a guaranteed starter in the Irish midfield after he was dropped for the Georgia game in October.

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