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Stoke's Stephen Ireland out with rib injury

Updated: Friday, 22 Aug 2014 21:09

Stephen Ireland faces a 'couple of weeks' on the sideline
Stephen Ireland faces a 'couple of weeks' on the sideline

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Stoke boss Mark Hughes has encountered the first injury setback of the new season for his squad, with midfielder Stephen Ireland having sustained a chest problem in training.

Hughes had a full group to select from for the Potters' Premier League campaign-opening clash with Aston Villa last weekend, which they lost 1-0 at home.

But he will be without Ireland when his side take on Hull at the KC Stadium on Sunday after the Irishman pulled a muscle in his rib cage which is set to keep him sidelined for "a couple of weeks at least".

Hughes said ahead of the Hull fixture: "We have a problem with Stephen Ireland unfortunately, who has pulled a muscle in his rib cage.

"It's a disappointment to us because he is a good player and somebody we would prefer to have available to us.

"It looks like he will be out for a couple of weeks at least, or until the pain has gone to allow him to move around the pitch comfortably."