Neil Taylor injury blow for Swansea after defender is ruled out for rest of season


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The Independent Football

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has been dealt a huge blow after Neil Taylor was ruled out for the rest of the season.

The 23-year-old Wales international, who featured for Team GB at the Olympics, dislocated and broke his ankle in three places just 16 minutes into Saturday's 2-2 draw with Sunderland.

The defender was left beating the turf in agony after his lower left leg buckled under him after a challenge on Craig Gardner.

He received oxygen while undergoing prolonged treatment, and Laudrup had gloomily revealed that Taylor had definitely suffered a fracture.

And the full extent of the injury was revealed in a Swansea statement on Sunday.

"The surgeons worked hard on Neil's injury (on Saturday) night and did a very good job," said Swansea's head physio Kate Rees on the club's official website.

"He is comfortable and the surgeons are happy with the operation.

"While he should make a full recovery, the extent of the injury means Neil is likely to miss the rest of the season."

Taylor, who joined the Swans from Wrexham in 2010, and was among the South Wales club's most consistent performers during their maiden Premier League campaign.

But Laudrup will have to do without his services for the remainder of the campaign.

Ben Davies replaced Taylor on Saturday and the 19-year-old could be set for a run in the team.

Davies showed admirable composure for a player of such inexperience, and Laudrup was impressed by his display.

The Dane said: "You always want to know that if you are bringing players on, whether others are tired, that the players you put on are able to be as good as the players they are replacing.

"If we look at Ben, he is a young guy and he did a great job in a really difficult moment for us."

Taylor's injury also leaves Wales manager Chris Coleman with a selection dilemma ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Serbia.

As well as those two encounters Taylor will also miss qualifiers against Scotland (twice), Croatia (twice) and Macedonia, plus a friendly against Austria, as Wales look to try and reach a major finals for the first time since 1958.