Stoke City have suffered a huge injury blow with the news that defender Phil Bardsley set for a 'number of weeks' on the sidelines following ligament damage to his knee.
The 31-year-old picked up the injury during the Potters' Premier League game against Bournemouth at the Bet365 Stadium last Saturday, after an awkward challenge with an opposing player, and will likely miss the rest of the club's remaining games in 2016.
Bardsley has become an integral part of manager Mark Hughes' side due to his consistency and experience playing in the top-flight, and speaking at a press conference ahead of this weekend's game against Watford, via StokeCityFC.com, the former Manchester City boss expressed his disappointment at the player's absence.
“Phil Bardsley will be out for a number of weeks - he has a bit of ligament damage sadly,” said Hughes.
“He opened his knee up and he will be out for a while which is sad because he came in and played well.
“Thankfully, his injury has coincided with the return of Glen Johnson, who is fit and well. We want to keep him nice and sound now.”
In other team news, City fans will be pleased to hear that midfielder Glenn Whelan has recovered from a hamstring injury after missing out on the club's home fixture against the Cherries, and should return for the visit to Vicarage Road on Sunday.
However, Geoff Cameron is still on the recovery table, with Hughes suggesting it has been a frustrating time for the American international.