Joe Rodon blow for Wales and Swansea as defender out for three months

Defender Joe Rodon has won four Wales caps since making his debut against Azerbaijan in August 2019
Defender Joe Rodon has won four Wales caps since making his debut against Azerbaijan in August 2019
Euro 2020 qualifying: Azerbaijan v Wales
Venue: Bakcell Arena, Baku Date: Saturday, 16 November Kick-off: 17:00 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Wales will be without Joe Rodon for their Euro 2020 qualifiers away to Azerbaijan on 16 November and against Hungary in Cardiff three days later.

The defender will be sidelined for three months after injuring a tendon in Swansea City's 3-0 loss to Brentford on 22 October.

It is another blow for Wales boss Ryan Giggs, who is already without Jonny Williams and Chris Mepham.

Wales need to claim six points from their final two Group E games.

They are also relying on Slovakia dropping points in their remaining two fixtures if they are to qualify for next summer's tournament.

Wales drew with Slovakia and Croatia in their qualifiers earlier in October.

The loss of Rodon, an ever-present for Swansea in the Championship this term before Sunday's 1-0 win over arch-rivals Cardiff, adds to Wales' casualty list that includes Bournemouth defender Mepham and Charlton midfielder Williams.

"He had a successful operation on Tuesday," Swansea manager Steve Cooper confirmed.

"The report says it was successful. He will be out for around three months, which is disappointing for him and us.

"He's had an excellent start to the season. Unfortunately, injuries are part and parcel of the game."

Cooper admitted that the 22-year-old struggled to contain his hurt at missing the south Wales derby win, especially as he is a former season-ticket holder at the Liberty Stadium.

"He was close to tears. I think it hit home yesterday when he knew he wasn't going to play, but he stood by the side of the team and didn't leave us for one minute," Cooper added.

"That's disappointing for him. But we look forward to welcoming him back and looking after him through his rehab."

Cooper paid tribute to Rodon's replacement, Ben Wilmot, who scored his first senior goal on his full league debut to beat Cardiff.

"For Ben, on the other side of the story, he's a really good player and a good lad. He has had to wait for a start in the league. He's had to stay patient and he's not been happy with it. We've had a good few conversations," Cooper added.

"All of the players know that we train in a way that whenever they're called upon, we've made a lot of changes in the last three games, they're ready to play. You saw that today, I am delighted for Ben."

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