'We're best mates in football' - James McCarthy pays tribute to Seamus Coleman
James McCarthy has thanked his good friend Seamus Coleman for the support he offered him in the immediate aftermath of the broken leg he suffered last January.
Coleman had painful knowledge of what his Everton and Ireland team-mate was going through after he suffered dreadful misfortune in the act of blocking a shot from Salomón Rondón.
And the Ireland captain, who was just preparing to make a comeback from his own leg break, was able to offer McCarthy helpful advice.
"Obviously Seamie (Coleman) had been there and done it," said McCarthy this week.
"When I got into the tunnel I looked up and he was there which was great. We're best mates in football.
"He was telling me not to worry, saying I'll get through it and come back stronger. The next day he came back up when I was in hospital which was really good of him.
"I've asked him if he felt wee niggles and he's been brilliant telling me not to worry, it's good to bounce off him if anything is niggling or anything."
McCarthy is back in training and the 27-year-old is feeling optimistic about what's coming around the corner after a rough couple of years plagued by setbacks.
"It's been a long road but I'm enjoying being back with the lads and being back in the thick of it. At first it was a bit weird coming back but it was worth it.
"I'm just happy to be able to get strong and be back out on the pitch. It's taken a lot of rehab in the gym and all the backroom staff have worked really hard with me and I can't thank them enough."
Marco Silva has indicated that McCarthy is very close to a return and has an outside chance of involvement against Crystal Palace tomorrow.
Coleman is also working his way back from the stress fracture that ruled him out of the October international window.