Aaron Ramsey is in "surprisingly good spirits" after the tackle that broke his leg, according to his international manager, John Toshack. The Arsenal and Wales midfielder, 19, underwent emergency surgery after his leg was broken in two places in a challenge from Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
Toshack, speaking before his side play Sweden tomorrow, said: "It is a horrific injury. It was a sad, unfortunate incident. I spoke to him and he seems in decent spirits but it is a blow for the player, the club and us. All we can do now is hope that he has a speedy, successful recovery, but obviously it is going to be a long one.
"The information we have got is that he is as comfortable as can be expected and he seemed in surprisingly decent spirits when I spoke to him."
Ramsey's influence in both the Arsenal and Wales sides has grown in the past year. The former Cardiff player has played in an advanced midfield position in Wales' most recent matches and Toshack was excited about what he might offer in the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Wales face England as well as Switzerland, Bulgaria and Montenegro in the qualifying campaign that begins next season.
"Aaron has just improved immensely over the last six or seven months," Toshack said. "In the last couple of games we felt as though we were on the right lines for him and for this to happen, from a selfish point of view, is a big blow for us. But the main thing is the player at this moment in time."
The Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan, the first man on the scene after Ramsey's injury, accepts players walk a fine line when it comes to tough tackling – but maintains there was no malice in Shawcross's tackle. "First and foremost, everyone hopes the young lad gets back as soon as possible, because he looks a terrific player," said Whelan. "I was the next one in from the tackle, and saw what had gone on. For Shawcross, he was disappointed what has happened to the boy. I have not seen the tackle again but when I first saw it, I do not think it was a dirty tackle – maybe a bit late but no more.
"I was just trying to do what I could to take the lad's mind off it," said Whelan. "The lad held on to me with the pain he was going through, and I was telling him not to think about it. He was in a state of shock."