Stephen Ireland breaks his leg...Twitter reaction is brutal

Stephen Ireland suffers a nasty injury
Stephen Ireland suffers a nasty injury

Stoke midfielder Stephen Ireland suffered a broken leg in training, but the reaction has been less than sympathetic for a player who has long since been a figure of derision for Irish soccer fans.

Ireland has struggled with various injury problems this season and the 29-year-old is now set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

The details of how the injury occurred remain unclear, other than the club stating that it happened during training on Tuesday morning.

Ireland has been hampered by hamstring-related problems for much of this season, making just 16 appearances, and has yet to start a Barclays Premier League match for Mark Hughes' side. His three starts this campaign have all been in the cup competitions.

The former Manchester City trainee is about to enter the final year of his contract at the Britannia Stadium, but it now remains to be seen how much of that he will be available to play.

It is not the first time Ireland has suffered a serious leg injury. Towards the end of last season he was on the receiving end of a challenge from Hull defender Maynor Figueroa which left him with a deep gash.

After the game Stoke boss Hughes claimed that his player needed "12-15 stitches" in the wound and that Figueroa's tackle could have ended Ireland's career.

Sympathy for Ireland has been in short supply on Twitter, with these snipes more than a little brutal: