Saturday 24 February 2018

Upbeat Coleman embracing injury challenge after return to work

Seamus Coleman. Photo: Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images
Seamus Coleman. Photo: Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Seamus Coleman says the "fighter" inside him is relishing the opportunity to come back stronger from his injury heartache.

The Ireland captain has spoken publicly for the first time since his leg was broken by a challenge by Wales' Neil Taylor last month.

He gave an interview to the Everton website that was broadcast on the day that it was confirmed Taylor had received a two-match international ban as punishment for his rash tackle.

The punishment was not addressed, with Coleman instead concentrating on the road ahead - although he did thank the supporters and team-mates with both club and country who reached out to him to offer support.

Managers Martin O'Neill and Ronald Koeman both visited the popular right-back at his home in Donegal. This week, he returned to Everton's HQ.

"I've had tough journeys before in the past," said the 28-year-old. "It hasn't been a smooth journey to play for Everton and to captain my country.

"I'm a fighter and there's a part of me that's looking forward to this challenge. It's something to start all over again and fight for.

"I've started with very small exercises in the gym. I've been doing some walking in the pool and aqua-jogging. It's just good to be back in and around the Club and feeling like a professional footballer again.

"It was great to be around my family and friends back home but I've been itching to get back. It's small steps but I'm ready to work.

"I'm really enjoying it and looking forward to the challenge ahead because it's going to be tough."

Coleman appreciated gestures such as Phil Jagielka's post goal celebration at Old Trafford and the floods of cards and other gifts that he received.

"Every little card meant so much to me and my family. All those well-wishes will get me through this tough period," he said.

"I try to get involved as much as I can and help people outside of the game and I think I got that support back 10 times over."

Irish Independent

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