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Sunday 25 June 2017

No short cuts in my recovery: Coleman

Ireland captain making progress but refuses to set a date for his return

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman, pictured here in Dublin before the recent World Cup
qualifier against Austria, has refused to set a date on his return to action following a broken leg. SPORTSFILE
Ireland captain Seamus Coleman, pictured here in Dublin before the recent World Cup qualifier against Austria, has refused to set a date on his return to action following a broken leg. SPORTSFILE

Seamus Coleman says he won't set a date for his return from the leg break which almost ended his career.

But the Ireland captain insists he will be the same player he was before that injury happened in March as he plans to make a full recovery.

Coleman has been sidelined since a tackle from Aston Villa man Neil Taylor, during the Ireland-Wales World Cup tie in Dublin 14 weeks ago, ended his season and put the Everton man out for an indefinite period.

He has been active in recent weeks, though: Coleman was back in his native Donegal as he was made a free man of the county by the local authority, a big honour for the boy from Killybegs, and he also hooked up with his Ireland team-mates before the World Cup tie at home to Austria earlier this month, Coleman keen to spend time with his fellow internationals as they aim for a place in the 2018 World Cup.

When Coleman suffered the injury it was suspected that he would miss the rest of the qualifying campaign and would not be back in action this calendar year.

And now, speaking to his club's in-house magazine, Coleman says he can't get hung up on a date for his return to first team duties. "In terms of other players who have suffered similar injuries, I'm not looking at the dates they returned because everyone has got their own journey," Coleman said.

"I want to do everything right to ensure that, when I am back I'm back as 100%. Not 70 or 80. I'm not going to take any short cuts.

"Progress is being made. I'm doing all that I'm being asked of so far and I just have to keep going that way. There is no end date - I'm just wanting to tick the boxes early on and keep improving."

Coleman expressed his joy at being honoured by Donegal - Shay Given was previously made a free man of the county - and while he enjoyed the occasion in Lifford and his time back in the north-west, he also found time for a break in the sun with his family.

"I went away to Majorca for a few days (at the very start of June) and let myself go a bit in terms of dessert," he said.

"But I do have to look after myself. This is my job and I need to make sure I'm in good shape. When I come back, I don't want to have to chase myself.

Coleman being stretchered off after sustaining the injury against Wales last March. SPORTSFILE
Coleman being stretchered off after sustaining the injury against Wales last March. SPORTSFILE

"For me it's important to stay positive. Positive thinking helps a lot. I'm going to continue in that way.

"I've never been a big fan of lifting weights but it's something I've had to do a little bit more now I'm injured.

"Another big part has been my diet. I enjoyed my first month back home without worrying about diet but when I came back to work I cracked on and had to watch what I was doing."

He's also spent time with his pals from home.

"I'm quite close to all my friends. We had an evening, on the day we played Manchester United at Old Trafford, when all the boys came up to watch the game," he said.

"It was good to chill out with them all. We heard my song being sung by the fans, coming out loud through the TV. That was great. Jags' celebration as well was a nice touch. That was a really good evening at home.

"It was like the old days. We are a very close bunch at home. I have a group of friends that I grew up with playing Gaelic football and it's important we all still stay in touch."

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