Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill has warned that midfielder Joe Allen could be facing another stint on the sidelines as a result of the injury he picked up on international duty with Wales.
Allen has returned to Stoke after suffering an injury during Wales’ 3-1 defeat to Belgium in World Cup qualifying on Wednesday night, with the midfielder now set for tests on the injury.
It has already been a frustrating season for Allen, who did not make his first appearance of the campaign until Boxing Day due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Now it seems as though O’Neill is bracing himself for Allen to be out of action for another extended spell of time following this latest setback.
Speaking about the injury Allen suffered on international duty, the Stoke boss was quoted by The Stoke Sentinel: “Joe you’ve got to remember came back after a very serious injury, nine months out. There was always going to be a period for Joe to get back up to speed.
“That wasn’t going to happen in three or four game and I think Joe is still in that period. It will take longer again. But getting Joe back was another bonus for the team.”
In total, Allen has made 177 appearances for Stoke since joining from Liverpool in the summer of 2016, scoring 20 goals in that time.
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As things stand, there are just over 12 months remaining on Allen’s contract with Stoke, securing his future with the Potters until the end of next season.
You do have to rather feel for Allen with what has happened to him here.
After working so hard to get back to fitness after so long out, to then be facing another spell on the sidelines so soon after that will surely be hard to take.
That however, is the situation that Allen now finds himself in, and it will be another big test for him to come back again, although the fact he has done it before should at least give him confidence.
Indeed, you also have to feel as though this is something of a significant blow for Stoke as well, given the sizeable role he has played for them since returning to full fitness.