MX23RW : Thursday, March 4 18:57:41| >> :120:18212:18212:

Mark Hughes: 'Stephen Ireland will be out for a number of weeks'

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes fears that midfielder Stephen Ireland will be out for weeks following a Maynor Figueroa tackle that left the 28-year-old needing stitches.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has claimed that midfielder Stephen Ireland will be facing a lengthy injury layoff following a tackle that left him needing stitches.

The former Manchester City man was substituted at half time of Stoke's 1-0 win over Hull City following a challenge by Maynor Figueroa that went unpunished.

A bemused Hughes told BBC Sport after Saturday's game at the Britannia Stadium: "We have lost Stephen for any number of weeks.

"He is in a bad way. He has a slice on his calf and needed 12 or 15 stitches. He came in at half-time, rolled his sock down, and everyone was taken aback by the severity of the gash."

Ireland was making only his 13th appearance of the season for the Potters.


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Mark Hughes, manager of Stoke City looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City at Loftus Road on September 20, 2014
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