Stoke City captain, Ryan Shawcross, is to undergo an operation on his back that could see him out at least two months, the club announced.
This is a recurrence of a back injury from last year that saw him on the sidelines for six games. During the preseason his playing time had been limited with the English centre-back to just over an hour.
Although Shawcross is Stoke’s most valuable defender, according to Squawka, goalkeeper Jack Butland thinks that the Stoke defence will manage until Shawcross is fit.
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“To lose him is a big loss, but we've got players capable of filling the void," Butland told BBC Radio Stoke.
“The likes of Geoff Cameron, Marc, Philipp and Muni are top-class centre-halves and would be brilliant replacements”
Will they manage?
In their six matches without Shawcross last year, Stoke managed to lose once, draw once, and win four times.
It may seem like Butland has a point but the only game in that span that was against a top 10 side was a 4-1 defeat at the hands of eventual premier league runner-up, Man City.
The Potter’s have a tough opening six fixtures with matches at Arsenal and Tottenham away, while facing a Liverpool side, determined to redeem themselves after last year’s failure to finish top four, in their first match at home.