Republic of Ireland defender Shane Duffy is back on his feet just days after surviving a life-threatening injury.
The 18-year-old Everton player was visited in hospital yesterday morning by international boss Giovanni Trapattoni, his assistant Marco Tardelli and skipper Robbie Keane in the wake of the Republic's 2-1 friendly victory over Paraguay.
Derry youngster Duffy was able to get out of bed and walk, much to the delight of the trio, and he remains on target to be discharged from Dublin's Mater Hospital at the weekend.
Speaking after training in Malahide yesterday, Tardelli said: “He was very good. Sometimes they feel the pain, but it was very good. We are very happy.”
Duffy (pictured) lost 3.6 litres of blood after rupturing his hepatic artery in a collision with Irish Amateur team goalkeeper Adrian Walsh last Friday evening, and came within seconds of death. His injury overshadowed last week's training camp, during which he had impressed, but his recovery has come as a huge relief as Trapattoni and his players have prepared for their final two fixtures of the season.
Having disposed of World Cup finalists Paraguay at the RDS last night, they will attempt to do the same to Algeria on Friday and demonstrate once again that they would not have been out of place in South Africa this summer. Asked what it meant to the management and players to have beaten one of the 32 finalists, Tardelli said: “We always want to win because that is our mentality. But we are very upset that we are staying here and the other teas are going to the World Cup.
“This team has shown that it is possible to play at the World Cup because it is a very good team now,” the assistant boss added.