Stoke City talisman Nick Powell is set to miss the majority of what remains of the year 2021 after cracking a bone in his leg, as confirmed by BBC Radio Stoke.
The 27-year-old attacking midfielder has been a key player for the Potters so far this season, scoring five times in nine league games and has occasionally featured as a striker.
Powell already missed a four-match spell earlier in the season through injury, and now he’s set for an extended spell on the sidelines.
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The ex-Manchester United man was withdrawn from Stoke’s clash with Bournemouth on Tuesday after just 28 minutes after picking up a leg injury.
That has now been diagnosed as a cracked fibula and it is severe enough to see Stoke’s top scorer ruled out of action for eight weeks – which means he will only return at the end of 2021 if all things go to plan and that is not what Michael O’Neill would have been hoping for as he awaited the diagnosis.
It’s a cruel blow for Powell who in most seasons has struggled with some form of injury which means he never really hits the 40-match mark.
He is by far Stoke’s most influential player as he can score all different types of goals as well as creating them.
There are adequate replacements for Powell in the short-term and the fact that Tyrese Campbell is coming back to full fitness should help with the goalscoring, but taking the 27-year-old out for two months is bound to be an issue.
The reaction from Stoke fans already to the news is quite telling and it’s going to be a big blow to see him out of action for the next eight weeks – if not more.