Croatia coach Slaven Bilic says he expects Arsenal striker Eduardo to be sidelined for a year with his broken leg.
Eduardo suffered a horrific double compound fracture of his leg after just three minutes of Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Birmingham on Saturday.
The striker was stretchered off and taken to hospital after the challenge from Birmingham defender Martin Taylor
Eduardo underwent surgery on Saturday night before being transferred to a London hospital to undergo further treatment.
The injury has ruled Eduardo out for the rest of the season and this summer's Euro 2008 finals, with Bilic describing the player as being 'irreplaceable' for his side.
Bilic believes Eduardo will be out of action for 12 months after speaking to the player's surgeon, but he has backed him to make a full recovery.
"I was totally shocked," Bilic told Sky Sports News.
"I have known him for many years and know that he was growing better as a player as I was growing better as a manager.
"I love him like a son as he is such a great guy, he is such a great player, one of the best I have met in my life.
"For it to happen now when he was starting to adapt to Arsenal and waiting for the European Championship, is terrible."
Bilic learnt of Eduardo's injury when preparing to watch the game via a satellite and he admits the news filtered through quickly to Croatia.
"I was preparing to watch the game on satellite, the game had already started and I couldn't believe it.
"I started to get calls from England and other journalists in Croatia. They said it looked serious. It was already on the internet and on the TV."
Bilic has spoken on numerous occasions with the player since Saturday and insists Eduardo is remaining positive about the situation; refusing to be downbeat despite his bed-ridden status.
"We are talking two or three times a day, because I know, no, I can imagine, what he is going through.
"He is one of the guys who whenever you ask him 'How are you?' every time he says 'OK', that he does not feel pain now. He is going to stay in the London hospital for a couple of days and then return home.
"He is a tough guy, he says he will fight. He came to Croatia from another continent, to a country he had never heard of. He of course did not know the language, when he was 17/18 in Croatia.
"He is ready to fight. He is mentally unbelievably strong and I know he will be back stronger than when he was injured."
While Arsene Wenger has since retracted his statement that Taylor should never play again, Bilic has reflected that to blame the Blues stopper benefits no-one.
"I found out in the papers that Martin has visited him in the hospital, but I don't know.
"I don't blame Taylor for the bad challenge. I believe Martin Taylor is a sportsman and did not try to hurt Eduardo.
"I am really sad but not sad because he will not play in the Euros but because he is a great guy and was looking forward to playing for Arsenal against Milan in the Champions League and the Premiership title race."
Bilic concedes that he will be unable to find a player capable of filling the void left by Eduardo's absence from the European Championship.
"It's an unbelievable blow for Croatia.
"He is our best player, not just in scoring goals, in finishing, but also creating chances in open play.
"We will not be able to find another player like Eduardo. It's a big, big blow for us.
"He is one of the main players for Arsenal too and has already scored some important goals. With (Emmanuel) Adebayor he is linking very well and is one of the players that defensively, is also good.
"Of course they are going to miss him too, because with (Robin) van Persie also missing, it is a big blow.
"It's the main story in Croatia for three days now. Everywhere I go - to a bus station, or if I go to a coffee shop - people are asking me. The whole of Croatia is really behind him.
"It's not only a blow because Eduardo is not going to be playing in the Euros but because he is a great guy and Croatia loves him.
"I want to spend some quality time with him but I can't do it now, in England in the hospital. I can see him now for just an hour or half an hour, which is not what me and Eduardo want.
"I will see him maybe in a weeks' time when he is back in his apartment."