Stoke City midfielder Stephen Ireland faces a lengthy period out of action after needing several stitches in his leg after being injured in a challenge during Saturday’s 1-0 win over Hull City, the Daily
The former Manchester City star was caught towards the end of the first half by a challenge from Maynor Figueroa, who in clearing the ball downfield, caught Ireland with a hefty follow-through, with his studs making contact high up on the leg.
He then had to be replaced at half-time and was given extensive treatment. Manager Mark Hughes took considerable exception to Figueroa’s challenge, saying: ‘Stephen Ireland has been on the end of a horrendous tackle, one that should’ve seen a straight red. Why the referee or his assistant have not seen the severity of the challenge I don’t know.
‘The tackle could’ve finished his career. Why the referee hasn’t given a straight red I’ve no idea.’ Ireland’s come in at half-time and rolled his sock down, there’s a wound needing 12-13 stitches. I’ve watched the video back, it’s shocking. We’re frustrated. They need to do better. The referee was only a few yards away. It’s a poor decision.’
Ireland, who signed for Stoke on a permanent basis in January 2014 following an initial loan spell from Aston Villa, was making his 13th appearance of the season in all competitions, during which he has scored three goals.
The game ended 1-0 to Stoke thanks to a Peter Crouch header, which came just moments after the striker came on as a substitute. Hull, who stay four points clear of the relegation zone, claimed offside, but suffered their first defeat in four Premier League outings.
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