Young Republic of Ireland defender Shane Duffy has undergone life-saving surgery after suffering a freak accident in a training match on Friday night.
The Everton teenager suffered a laceration to his liver after colliding with Irish amateur team goalkeeper Adrian Walsh during the clash at Gannon Park. After being attended to on the pitch by team surgeon Professor John O'Byrne and team doctor Alan Byrne, he was rushed to nearby Mater Hospital where surgeon Gerry McEntee performed an emergency operation.
O'Byrne said: "Shane collided with a player in a way that you would see thousands of times in football matches. 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."
O'Byrne added: "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.
"Shane was stabilised in intensive care after the surgery which stopped internal bleeding and on Saturday morning was conscious and in the care of the Mater's high dependency unit having improved overnight."
The 18-year-old had been scheduled to remain with Giovanni Trapattoni's senior squad, solely for training purposes, ahead of next week's friendly clashes against Paraguay and Algeria.
His injuries call to mind those suffered by Republic goalkeeper Shay Given in 2006 when, during his time at Newcastle, he collided with then West Ham striker Marlon Harewood and suffered injuries described as being consistent with a car crash.
Trapattoni, who made an early exit from the game between St. Patrick's Athletic and Bohemians at Richmond Park 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.
"On behalf of the FAI, I would also like to praise Prof. Gerry McEntee for conducting the emergency operation and ensuring that Shane was given the best possible attention.""Shane is very lucky and we wish him a speedy recovery."