Joe Allen Wales injury: Michael O’Neill provides update on Stoke midfielder

He was forced off early after making his first start for his country in nearly two years

Stoke City and Michael O’Neill anxiously await the diagnosis of midfielder Joe Allen after he picked up a new injury while on international duty with Wales this week.

The 31-year-old was forced off just seven minutes into his country’s 3-1 loss to Belgium in their World Cup qualifying game on Wednesday.

Allen started his first game for Wales in almost two years after recovering from a nine-month achilles tendon rupture he picked up in March last year.

He made his return to action for Stoke in December but now he could face more time on the sidelines.

Interim Wales manager Rob Page has now revealed that Allen had picked up soft tissue damage.

As a result he returns to Stoke and will miss Wales’ next two games against Mexico and the Czech Republic.

He said that the midfielder is due for more assessments before a timeframe was put on his return.

Potters boss Michael O’Neill stated that Allen’s problem is not in the same place as his previous injury.

“It’s not obviously a reoccurrence or anything,” he told BBC Radio Stoke.

“It’s in a different area of his body from where he had his achilles injury.

“He has played quite a lot of games and possibly he maybe would have benefitted from a bit of a break but obviously it was a massive game for Wales.”

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Euro 2020 concerns

Allen would have missed Euro 2020 last summer had it not been postponed.

But his return from injury ahead of this year’s tournament would have given Wales fans some hope.

However, his Championships could now be in jeopardy once more should the verdict on his injury be a severe one.

Allen has featured in 57 competitive games for his country.

He was part of the national squad that famously made it to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

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