Joe Allen: Stoke City and Wales midfielder to miss start of the season

Joe Allen had played 39 games in 2019-20 until he suffered an Achilles injury against Hull in March

Wales midfielder Joe Allen will miss the start of the new season as he continues his recovery from a ruptured Achilles.

Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill had suggested Allen could be fit for the new campaign.

But he now says admits the Championship’s 12 September kick-off will be “too soon” for the 30-year-old.

That means the 56-cap international is also set to miss out on the start of Wales’ Nations League campaign.

Ryan Giggs’ side travel to Finland on 3 September and welcome Bulgaria to the Cardiff City Stadium three days later.

Allen suffered the injury in March in Stoke’s final game before lockdown, and it was initially feared he would not play again in 2020.

He underwent successful surgery and was said to have made good progress with his rehabilitation.

Speaking in June, former Northern Ireland manager O’Neill said he hoped the playmaker could be ready in time for the delayed start to the 2020-21 season.

Allen himself had also looked at the start of September as a potential return date.

But speaking after Stoke’s weekend pre-season friendly against Burton, O’Neill said there will be no rush for a comeback.

“Joe is working away well,” he told Stoke’s club website. “I think it’s just five months for Joe now so the start of the season will come too soon for him.

“It’s an injury you cannot rush – when he is ready, he is ready. He has done an amazing amount of work to be fair to him, so we will welcome him back when he is ready and fit.”

Wales’ Nations League openers – their first fixtures since qualifying for the since-delayed European Championships – are followed by three fixtures in October, including a Wembley friendly against England on 8 October.

BBC News