Irish defender Shane Duffy had emergency surgery on a laceration to his liver after an accidental collision with a colleague in a training match Friday.

The Everton player collided with goalkeeper Aidan Walsh, and after receiving treatment on the filed, was rushed to the Mater Hospital in Dublin where he underwent surgery.

The injury occurred while Duffy was attending a summer training camp with the Irish international squad.

"Shane collided with a player in a way that you would see thousands of times in football matches," said Irish team surgeon Professor John O'Byrne.

"It was a freak injury that in another 100 years of medicine, we may never see again.

"Shane sustained a laceration to his liver and was rushed to the Mater hospital for emergency surgery. Gerry McEntee and the intensive care staff in the Mater must be credited for their expertise and fast response which in no uncertain terms saved Shane's life.

"Shane was stabilized in intensive care after the surgery which stopped internal bleeding and this morning is conscious and is in the care of the Mater's high dependency unit having improved overnight."

Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni was relieved that Duffy is expected to recover and praised all medical staff involved in the treatment of the player.

"I would like to thank Dr. Alan Byrne and Prof. John O'Byrne for their quick reaction to Shane's serious injury,'' said Trapattoni. "As time was critical, had they not acted as they did, Shane's life could have been in more danger than it already was.

"On behalf of the FAI, I would also like to praise Prof. Gerry McEntee for conducting the emergency operation and ensuring that Shane was given the best possible attention. Shane is very lucky and we wish him a speedy recovery."

Duffy, 18, is a native of Derry, but he chose to declare for the Republic of Ireland under the terms of the Good Friday agreement. The player is still in the High Dependency ward of the Mater Hospital Saturday.