Joe Allen: Injured Wales and Stoke midfielder 'out for a number weeks'

Joe Allen lasted just seven minutes of Wales' loss in Belgium before injury struck
Joe Allen lasted just seven minutes of Wales' loss in Belgium before injury struck

Midfielder Joe Allen faces a race to be fit for the European Championships, with Stoke boss Michael O'Neill saying he will miss "a number of weeks".

Allen, 31, was forced off after just seven minutes of Wednesday's 3-1 World Cup qualifying defeat in Belgium.

The game in Leuven was Allen's first international appearance since 2019, having previously been out for nine months with an Achilles injury.

"The injury is a bit more severe than we thought initially," O'Neill said.

Allen missed Saturday's friendly win against Mexico and Tuesday's 1-0 World Cup qualifier victory against the Czech Republic, both at Cardiff City Stadium.

Wales are set to begin their European Championship campaign against Switzerland in Baku on Saturday, 12 June.

"He'll certainly be out for a number of weeks, to be honest," O'Neill added ahead of Stoke's game with Bristol City.

"We'll just have to manage him and get him fit obviously. He has the [European Championship] finals in the summer to take into consideration as well but it will be a few weeks before we see Joe.

"I think it's touch and go whether we will get him back before the end of the season. We would obviously like that to be the case.

"Joe obviously has the target of playing in the finals for Wales in the summer, which is a massive thing for him, and we want him to get that opportunity as well."

O'Neill told the club website Allen's injury is to his calf and hamstring.

"Joe has got a calf and a hamstring injury, both either side of the knee. It's on the opposite side to where he had his Achilles injury and repair," O'Neill added.

"Unfortunately a consequence of a long-term injury is that you're a little bit more susceptible to pick up injuries in other places as well."