Everton and Republic of Ireland starlet Shane Duffy has undergone life-saving surgery following a freak accident during a training match.
Duffy was playing when he collided with Irish amateur team goalkeeper Adrian Walsh, causing a laceration to his liver.
The teenager was attended to on the pitch by team surgeon Professor John O'Byrne and team doctor Alan Byrne but was rushed to nearby Mater Hospital where surgeon Gerry McEntee performed an emergency operation.
The incident was said to be innocuous but nearly had a devastating impact for the young Irishman, who is expected to a make a full recovery despite his blood pressure dropping to dangerously low levels during the operation.
O'Byren said: "Shane collided with a player in a way that you would see thousands of times in football matches. 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 stabilised 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."
The Toffees star had been training with Giovanni Trapattoni's senior squad ahead of Ireland's friendly games against Paraguay and Algeria.
Trapattoni left a clash between St. Patrick's Athletic and Bohemians at Richmond Park after hearing of the incident, and the Italian paid tribute to the medical staff who attended to the stricken 18-year-old.
He said: "I would like to thank Dr. Alan Byrne and Prof. John O'Byrne for their quick reaction to Shane's serious injury.
"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."