Neil Taylor receives two-match ban for horror challenge on Everton's Seamus Coleman

Rhod Cannon
Seamus Coleman

Wales defender Neil Taylor has been suspended for two international games for his horrific tackle on Everton and Republic of Ireland defender Seamus Coleman. The Aston Villa left-back broke Coleman's tibia and fibula with a wild and late challenge during his country's goalless draw with the Republic of Ireland in March.

Taylor, who now plies his trade for Aston Villa, will miss Wales' huge World Cup qualifiers against Serbia and Austria in June and September. There were calls from some quarters for Taylor to receive a longer ban due to the severity of the injury suffered by Coleman, but Uefa have decided to increase his initial one-match suspension by just a single game.

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Coleman has undergone successful surgery on his broken leg and was visited by Everton manager Ronald Koeman and club captain Phil Jagielka at his home in Donegal a couple of weeks ago. The 28-year-old has now returned to Everton's training complex for light fitness work and is ready to draw on his fighting spirit and overcome this grave injury.

"I've had tough journeys before in the past," Coleman said. "It hasn't been a smooth journey to play for Everton and to captain my country. I'm a fighter and there's a part of me that's looking forward to this challenge. It's something to start all over again and fight for.

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"I've started with very small exercises in the gym. I've been doing some walking in the pool and aqua-jogging. It's just good to be back in and around the club and feeling like a professional footballer again.

"It was great to be around my family and friends back home but I've been itching to get back. It's small steps but I'm ready to work. I'm really enjoying it and looking forward to the challenge ahead because it's going to be tough but I've had tough journeys before and this is just another one."

Everton will be undoubtedly pleased by Coleman's return to Finch Farm, and the Irishman will be present at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon to see his blue cohorts try to topple league leaders Chelsea. Koeman's men have won all eight league games at Goodison in 2017 but face their sternest test in the form of Antonio Conte's men, who are edging closer to the Premier League title.

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