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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 15:29 GMT
Injured Eduardo leaves hospital
Arsenal striker Eduardo (right) in agony after a tackle by Martin Taylor (left)
Eduardo (right) shows his agony as Taylor looks on
Arsenal striker Eduardo has been discharged from hospital four days after undergoing surgery on a horrific leg injury on Saturday.

The 25-year-old suffered a fractured left fibula and an open dislocation of his left ankle after a tackle by Birmingham's Martin Taylor.

Eduardo will have his leg in plaster for the next six to eight weeks before beginning a rehabilitation programme.

Arsenal say the Croatia international should be running again in six months.

Eduardo is expected to be out of the game for nine months but, in a statement, Arsenal said: "Eduardo would like to once again thank everyone for the overwhelming messages of support he has received."

After sustaining the injury, Eduardo was taken to Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham and underwent surgery on Saturday before being transferred to a London-based hospital on Sunday.

Taylor has been targeted by some angry fans - including a number from Croatia - who have posted threatening messages on various internet sites.

And security personnel had to restrain Croatian journalists, who ran on to the road and tried to get into Taylor's car as he left the club's Wast Hills training complex on Monday.

But Croatia manager Slaven Bilic, who will now be without his prolific striker for the European Championship finals this summer, has been quick to defend the 28-year-old centre-half.

Eduardo's a world class player, he's definitely in the right hands and I'm sure he will come back

Alex McLeish, Birmingham manager

"The injury made the tackle look bad," Bilic told BBC Radio 5 Live. "You see many tackles like that, almost every week."

"That's perhaps wrong for football but I'm sure Martin Taylor is a sportsman and he wanted to play the ball.

"On another occasion Eduardo could have received a worse tackle and got away without injury - everything went wrong but Eduardo knows Taylor didn't do it deliberately."

The incident occurred early on in Arsenal's 2-2 draw at St Andrew's and Birmingham manager Alex McLeish conceded the experience has been difficult for Taylor psychologically.

But McLeish does not believe Taylor's straight red card was warranted.

"The fact that (some commentators were surprised at the red card) tells the story itself - it was seen as just another normal tackle in a game of football where there is contact," he stated.

"Martin was horrified. There certainly wasn't a big protest over the red card from him but he has seen the damage that was done to Eduardo and I could see it in his face.

David Busst
I had 20 operations on my right leg, with 10 operations in the first 12 days

Former Coventry defender David Busst

"Even if the referee had given him a yellow card I don't know if he could have played on any way."

"We've had to rally round Martin Taylor because he is mentally shattered by the whole experience."

Former Rangers and Scotland boss McLeish recalled the way ex-Celtic striker Henrik Larsson came back from a horrific leg break in 1999 and is hopeful for Eduardo.

"Henrik Larsson received a bad one a few years ago in Lyon, while playing for Celtic and when I saw Eduardo I could think it was something similar," added McLeish.

"The technology and medical treatments nowadays meant Henrik Larsson came back to show he was a world-class player.

"Eduardo's a world-class player and he's definitely in the right hands and I'm sure he will come back."

Meanwhile, former Coventry defender David Busst is confident Eduardo, who has scored 12 goals in his debut season for Arsenal, will play again if there are no complications in his recovery.

Busst's career was ended by a similar injury to Eduardo's and was suffered against Manchester United in 1996.


"If there's no complications, I'm sure he will be back playing again," Busst told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It wasn't the break that stopped me playing again but the infections I caught after that.

"I suffered a double compound fracture of the tibia and fibula and had 20 operations on my right leg, with 10 operations in the first 12 days.

"I'd like to reassure Eduardo and tell him not to let people compare his injury to mine because I did have to give up.

"It was the infection, muscle and tissue damage that stopped me from playing again.

"They will have closed up where the bone had come out from the skin and pinned the bones.

"If they have done all that without any infection then he will be back playing when the bone has healed in about 12 months."

Eduardo intent on swift recovery
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Wenger fury after Eduardo injury
23 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Hansen on Eduardo's injury
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League
McLeish sympathy for Eduardo injury
23 Feb 08 |  Match of the Day


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