Seamus Coleman working towards Everton comeback....but will he be back for Ireland in 2017?
Ireland captain Seamus Coleman is 'making good progress' in his recovery from a double leg break, but suggestions that he could play for Ireland again in 2017 are 'highly optimistic'.
Independent.ie has been informed that Coleman is making good progress as he steps up his recovery following his horror injury in Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Wales last March, but he is still some way from pushing for a return to top level action.
The sight of the full-back going through tentative running drills last month sparked hopes that Coleman could be set for a miraculously speedy recovery, but we have be told that he is not expected to make a return to the game in the next two months.
That would end any suggestion that Coleman could return for Ireland duty in time for a possible World Cup play-off in November, if they were to wrap up second spot in Group D qualifying and secure one of top eight runners-up places in UEFA qualifying.
While Coleman could be close to full fitness by the time of those play-off games, he will need to be slowly eased back into first team football and is unlikely to be given permission by his club to be considered for international call-ups this year.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman was furious with Ireland head coach Martin O'Neill last season as James McCarthy aggravated injuries playing international matches, even though the player and the Irish set-up had been warned he was not fit to play.
It is likely that Everton will now take every caution to ensure they remain in control of Coleman's recovery, with the impressive progress he is making unlikely to help Ireland in their current World Cup qualifying push.
Meanwhile, Wales defender Neil Taylor is said to have been 'deeply affected' after his tackle resulted in Coleman's horrendous injury at the Aviva Stadium a little under six month ago.
Taylor has not spoken publicly about the incident but his Aston Villa and Wales colleague James Chester has revealed he was traumatised by the incident.
"He was obviously very disappointed with what happened and playing with him at club level I know he was deeply affected by it," Chester said.
"It was something he didn't mean to do and as footballers there's almost an acceptance we will get injuries in our career.
"The game moves on and it's nice to see that Seamus is back and close to fitness now.
"Neil has moved on with his career and he seems back to normal now. He would never wish that injury on anyone and he was more worried about the impact on Seamus than what anyone was saying about him.
"He's obviously been through something similar in his own career, so anything labelled at him that it was intentional would have been incorrect.
"Neil knew Seamus would have had to have been through the same thing as him."