Seamus Coleman ready for Republic of Ireland return after serious injury
Last Updated: 22/03/18 3:48pm
Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman never feared he would not return to his best after suffering a horrific leg injury.
Coleman broke his right leg in two places during Ireland's goalless draw against Wales 12 months ago, which required surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation period.
He returned to action with Everton in January and has since made five appearances, and is expected to win his 44th Ireland cap in Friday's friendly against Turkey in Ankara.
Asked if he was worried about rediscovering his best form, Coleman replied: "That never crossed my mind, not from day one.
"I knew that if I did everything I was told and did all the work I needed to do in the gym that I'd be back on the football pitch."
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill was keen to highlight the Donegal defender's influence in the dressing room.
"Naturally I'm delighted to see him back," said O'Neill. "I sometimes think he doesn't know himself how influential he is, not only in the dressing room but obviously on the field of play, that's the main part.
"It almost goes without saying that we missed him. Had he been fit, I think we may have made it, who knows? He would have given us a much better opportunity.
"I've said to him - I'd rather say it when he's not in the room - he's an absolutely world-class player."
Coleman could come up against Everton team-mate Cenk Tosun, a £27million January signing from Besiktas, on Friday and he has been impressed by what he has seen so far.
He said: "He's been very good in the last couple of weeks. His first couple of training sessions, you could see he was a good player who needed match fitness and training fitness.
"He's finding the back of the net for us, which is important because he was going through a difficult spell.
"He's a very good player and a very good friend of mine as well."
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