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Tue 26 Feb 2008 02:52 AM

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Arsenal expect Eduardo to recover this year

Broken leg expected to fully heal, player responsible for injury receives death threats.

Arsenal said on Monday they expect Eduardo da Silva to make a full recovery from his horrendous broken leg this year, as it was revealed the player who caused the injury has received death threats.

The 25-year-old Brazilian-born Croatian striker fractured his left fibula and dislocated his ankle after a studs-up tackle from Martin Taylor which saw the Birmingham defender sent off just minutes into Saturday's Premiership clash.

Eduardo underwent surgery on Saturday in Birmingham before being transferred to a London hospital, where a surgeon and Arsenal's medical staff assessed the injury on Monday.

A statement on Arsenal's website said: "All being well, Eduardo will have his leg in plaster and using crutches for the next six to eight weeks.

"After that time, partial weight-bearing exercises will be scheduled into a slow rehabilitation process.

"It is hoped that Eduardo will be running again in six months' time and making a full recovery after nine months," the statement added.

Taylor has received death threats after the challenge, especially from Croatian fans furious at Eduardo being ruled out of the Euro 2008 finals.

One website specifically set up after the incident during the 2-2 draw at St Andrews has already received 27,000 messages directed at the former Blackburn player.

Birmingham City's security personnel had to restrain Croatian journalists who ran onto the road and tried to force their way into Taylor's car as he left the club's training ground on Monday.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish condemned the reaction and said Taylor was "mentally shattered by the whole experience".

"I've heard about the death threats and you are going to ridiculous proportions if that is the case. You've just got to get on with it and dismiss those things. There are some crazy people in the world," McLeish told SkySports.

"I think Martin's wife was upset at the weekend but he has come in this morning and got on with his life again thanks to the support of everyone who knew it wasn't a challenge with malicious intent to injure a player".

David Busst, the former Coventry defender whose career ended after he broke his leg in a collision with Manchester United defender Denis Irwin in 1996, said he was hopeful Eduardo would regain full fitness.

"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. The only difference with Eduardo's and mine is I was hit on both sides of my leg, by two players.

"The bottom part of my right shin was in an L-shape. It was hit either side and the bone had nowhere to go so it went through the skin. The bottom part of my leg had folded underneath and came out at the side”.

Busst added: "I 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".

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