Stoke City have been dealt a potential injury blow with the news that Joe Allen has picked up a knock while on international duty.
The Wales midfielder played just seven minutes of the midweek defeat to Belgium with the experienced playmaker appearing to be in some discomfort as he left the field.
Interim manager Rob Page has admitted that he doesn’t yet know the full extent of the injury but doesn’t expect him to play any further part in this week’s international schedule.
As quoted by Wales Online, Page said: “We’ve lost Joe, which is a shame.
“I said the before the game about the importance of him on and off the pitch and it is a big loss for us.
“But like I said it gives someone else an opportunity to step up.
“It’s disappointing not to have him [Allen] and he has to go back to the club now and they’ll do more assessments and then they’ll know exactly where they’re at with him with regards to timescale.
“It’s a soft tissue injury. I’m not 100 per cent on the extent of the injury. I’ve left that down to the medical team and it’s down to them now to report back to the club.
“He’s had a difficult year and the number of games he’s played has maybe caught up with him. It was inevitable he was going to get something.”
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This could be a massive blow for Stoke City.
Joe Allen is the beating heart of Michael O’Neill’s side and so to see him ruled out with a potentially serious injury is not good news.
However with the Potters all-but safe from the relegation battle and unlikely to challenge for the play-offs, at least it won’t have a huge bearing on the season.