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Stoke dealt blow as Muniesa faces month on sidelines

Stoke City defender Marc Muniesa has been ruled out for at least a month following a hamstring tear sustained in the League Cup victory over holders Chelsea. 

The 23-year-old had to be withdrawn four minutes into the second half of Tuesday's fourth-round tie that Stoke won on penalties to book a quarter-final showdown with Championship side Sheffield Wednesday. 

"Marc Muniesa has quite a serious hamstring injury, which will keep him out for a few weeks," confirmed Stoke boss Mark Hughes on Thursday.

"It's unfortunate for him and for us because it is a grade two, or even a grade three tear which means he is looking at a minimum of three or four weeks.

"It hasn't been the best week for us in terms of losing defenders, because leading into the Chelsea game we were threadbare and losing Marc hasn't helped us."

Muniesa's defensive team-mate Glen Johnson, meanwhile, missed the Chelsea game, but Hughes is hopeful the 31-year-old can return against Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.