Everton and Republic of Ireland defender Shane Duffy is recovering well following life-saving surgery after a freak accident during a training match.
The 18-year-old suffered a laceration to his liver after colliding with the opposition goalkeeper when playing for Ireland in a training match against an Irish amateur team at Gannon Park, Dublin.
After being attended to on the pitch he was rushed to nearby Mater Hospital in Dublin where surgeon Gerry McEntee performed an emergency operation. A spokeswoman for the Football Association of Ireland said the teenager was in a recovery unit and making good progress.
Earlier Ireland team surgeon Professor O'Byrne said the medical team at the Mater had saved the young player's life.
"Shane collided with a player in a way that you would see thousands of times in football matches," he said.
"It was a freak injury that in another 100 years of medicine, we may never see again.
"Shane sustained a laceration to his liver and was rushed to the Mater hospital for emergency surgery. Gerry McEntee and the intensive care staff in the Mater must be credited for their expertise and fast response which in no uncertain terms saved Shane's life."
The teenager had been included in Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni's senior squad, solely for training purposes, ahead of next week's friendly clashes against Paraguay and Algeria.
Trapattoni, who made an early exit from the game between St Patrick's Athletic and Bohemians at Richmond Park in Dublin after hearing of Duffy's accident, offered his thanks to Prof McEntee and his specialised crash team as well as the national side's medical staff.
"I would like to thank Dr Alan Byrne and Prof John O'Byrne for their quick reaction to Shane's serious injury," he said. "As time was critical, had they not acted as they did, Shane's life could have been in more danger than it already was. Shane is very lucky and we wish him a speedy recovery."
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