Brek Shea sidelined by knee injury

Jonathan Daniel

Stoke City and USMNT midfielder Brek Shea appears to have sustained ligament damage thanks to a tackle by Philadelphia Union midfielder Matt Kassel during the Potters' 2-0 friendly win at PPL Park.

The last thing any club wants from its preseason tours is for players to suffer injury, but that's exactly what happened to Stoke City during their friendly match against the Philadelphia Union on Tuesday. Brek Shea, scorer of the winning goal in the Gold Cup final last weekend, will be out for a 'number of weeks', according to manager Mark Hughes. The versatile American sustained knee ligament damage while challenging the Union's Matt Kessel.

Shea is due for a scan to determine the full extent of the damage later today, but the problem seems reasonable severe -- and Hughes is understandably upset:

I thought it was a very, very poor challenge by the boy [Kassel]. What the hell he was thinking of, I have no idea. … [Shea is] disappointed, I think we all are, because it was a poor challenge. You don’t expect that. It’s a friendly game. You need to protect your fellow professional. And I don’t think the guy did that. Don’t know who he was. Maybe he was trying to make a name for himself, I don’t know. He went the wrong way about it.

Shea had already scored for the Potters in their 2-0 win before the collision with Kassel took him out of the game in the 29th minute. If there is ligament damage, it probably rules the 23-year-old out for the start of the Premier League season. It's not yet clear where Hughes planned to use him (or indeed, if he planned on playing him at all -- Shea only managed two appearances after joining Stoke last January), but losing a player as versatile as Shea will certainly be a blow to his plans.

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