Mark Hughes has admitted he may have to rethink his summer spending plans after losing Ibrahim Afellay to a long-term injury.
The Dutchman is facing up to nine months on the sidelines after rupturing knee ligaments in training on Friday, and the Stoke boss admits it is a huge blow for the player and the club.
Hughes is convinced the winger will be able to make a full recovery, but he may have look into the possibility of signing a replacement in the meantime.
“There was no-one anywhere near him,” Hughes said. “He’s just plucked the ball out of the sky and come down on the ground. At the time we heard something and didn’t relate it to the knee, we thought he had stretched his hamstring.
“Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case. He tried to carry on and quite clearly couldn’t, so we got him checked, he had a scan and we are told it’s snapped.
“So we are looking at seven, eight, nine months. It’s a significant amount of time. We will give him the best treatment, he will get back and he will be fine. But it is a huge shame for the lad.
“We will look at the 25 we have got available and yes, may have to go into the market.”