Stoke boss Mark Hughes hoping for speedy Jack Butland return
Stoke boss Mark Hughes hopes goalkeeper Jack Butland could return less than a month after suffering a broken finger while on England duty.
The 24-year-old sustained the injury in training and missed the friendlies against Germany and Brazil.
It is the second time Butland has been hurt while away with England, as the keeper was sidelined for 13 months after breaking his ankle in a game against Germany in March 2016.
The coincidence was not lost on Hughes, who nevertheless is confident this absence will be a brief one.
"He's a little bit disappointed, obviously,'' said the Potters manager.
"He's getting these setbacks in terms of injuries, usually when international squads and Germany are involved, unfortunately for us. But we are hopeful it's going to resolve itself as quickly as possible.
"Clearly he's got a number of fractures in the finger. I have seen the X-ray. There's misplaced bones in there.
"We are reasonably confident that once it settles down and Jack gets to the point where he can manage the pain, more often than not you can get back playing and training.
"It's just about getting to that point. It could be three weeks. It could be four or five.''
Hughes has an able deputy in Lee Grant, who stood in while Butland was sidelined last time and was named Stoke's player of the season for 2016-17.
The Potters will also be without defender Geoff Cameron, who is still struggling with the effects of a concussion, for Monday's trip to Brighton.
Hughes said: "Geoff is still unavailable. It's taking a little bit longer than we anticipated. He's just getting a few reactions when we try and step him up.
"When we try and give him some physical work, he gets a reaction so we have to start from square one again. That's happened on a number of occasions.
"We're mindful that we have to be very careful with head injuries. We are trying to do the correct things for Geoff just to make sure he comes back OK.''
Hughes, meanwhile, hopes everything possible is being done to persuade Chris Coleman to stay on as Wales manager.
Coleman has not committed to extending his stay as national team boss after Wales missed out on qualification for the World Cup finals.
Hughes, the Wales manager between 1999 and 2014, said: "From a purely Welsh perspective, I would want him to stay.
"Obviously the success he's had and the impact that he's had on Welsh football has been remarkable and clearly everybody in Wales wants that to continue.
"I'm not privy to why he's taking so long and obviously Chris will have a view in terms of where he feels his career needs to go.
"But, if it was a financial issue or there were discussions to be had in terms of maybe looking after backroom staff and keeping that group of people together that have had such great success, you'd like to think the FAW [Football Association of Wales] would push to keep them and go that extra mile for them because they deserve it.''