Mark Hughes gives us a Jon Walters injury update

Stoke and Ireland forward still has a little way to go before returning to action

Jonathan Walters

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne 

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has revealed that Ireland forward Jon Walters is still two to three weeks away from returning to action. 

There is keen interest in the player's progress from an Irish perspective as Ireland's crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Wales approaches on March 24th.  

It was confirmed that he would undergo minor knee surgery in January.

Speaking to Off The Ball's Nathan Murphy after Stoke's 4-0 loss to Tottenham at White Hart Lane, Hughes gave an update on Walters' condition after more than a month since he last featured in the Premier League.

"He should be back in two to three weeks. He's training but he probably needs a little bit more work on a daily basis. He needs a good two weeks at least, or three. Three would be better for him," said Hughes.  

The Stoke manager pulled no punches regarding his team's performance at Spurs as he readily admitted that they had struggled badly.

"The first half, we were very, very poor and nothing like we're capable of. For whatever reason, we didn't come out of the blocks. We didn't get close enough to people," he said.

"The manner of the goals is the golden thing really. [We were] too passive in key areas of the field, didn't get out, didn't close people down, didn't block where we needed to, didn't do our defensive work to a standard that stops good players affecting the game and very quickly the game went away from us.

"We said before we went out that today was about staying in the game and making sure that we stayed in the game long enough to give ourselves an opportunity to win it. But that opportunity went away very, very quickly unfortunately due to our poor play." 

He added that Tottenham "seem to cause us more problems than most" after a run of heavy defeats in head to heads.