Ibrahim Afellay could miss rest of the season, says Stoke boss Mark Hughes
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 13/04/17 5:23pm
Ibrahim Afellay could miss the rest of the season after being forced to undergo knee surgery, Stoke manager Mark Hughes has confirmed.
The Potters midfielder only returned from eight months out with a cruciate knee ligament injury in December and has since featured 12 times in the Premier League.
But he is unlikely to feature again this campaign after undergoing further surgery on his knee in Barcelona earlier this week that is likely to rule him out for up to five weeks.
"Unfortunately Ibrahim Afellay has a bit of a problem with his knee and is likely to be out for four or five weeks," Hughes said.
"He has gone back to Barcelona to see the surgeon who has worked with him before and has undertaken a small operation.
"There was a little problem in his knee but hopefully the procedure will help clear that up.
"With there only being six games of the season left it is unlikely that he will feature again unfortunately, but we will wait and see about that."
Hughes also confirmed he will be without midfielder Joe Allen for Saturday's match against Hull at the Bet365 Stadium due to a hamstring problem, while forward Jon Walters is a doubt with a knee injury.
Long-term absentee Jack Butland is also unlikely to feature, despite making his comeback from injury earlier this week.
The goalkeeper, who suffered an ankle injury while playing for England in a friendly against Germany in March 2016, played 90 minutes for Stoke U23s in their 2-0 defeat at Brighton on Monday.
"I think there's an amount of work he still needs to do. When you're out for a long time there are a number of boxes before the player, his coaches and I'm comfortable," Hughes said.
"I'm not sure we're there yet but he's very close. We got him a game this week and there's another on Monday if we decide whether he would be better off with more game time or more training and shot-stopping work.
"The important thing is that he's really comfortable with where he is and that wasn't the case leading up to identifying the stress fracture that was missed.
"At some point he will get games leading into next year."