Afellay could be out until Christmas with ‘serious knee injury’

Date published: Saturday 23rd April 2016 1:48 - Ian Watson

Stoke midfielder Ibrahim Afellay has sustained cruciate ligament damage and will be out for the long term, the Premier League club have announced.

The 30-year-old, who has been capped 52 times by Holland, suffered what the club have called a “serious knee injury” in Friday’s training session and was not in the squad for the Potters’ Saturday lunchtime clash with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

In a quote published on Stoke’s official Twitter account, boss Mark Hughes said: “It’s unfortunate for Ibrahim. He twisted his knee in training. He’ll come back stronger with our support.”

Afellay joined the growing number of ex-Barcelona players in Staffordshire when he followed Bojan Krkic and Marc Muniesa to Stoke last summer by signing a two-year contract.

The Dutchman had been a regular in his first season under Hughes and had scored three times in 36 appearances having been utilised both as a number 10 and in a deeper midfield role.

He will now join team-mate Jack Butland on the sidelines after the England goalkeeper fractured his ankle last month while on international duty.

Afellay tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during training while at Barca in 2011, keeping him sidelined for seven months.

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