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The Potters will be without their January signing for their campaign's first fixture, with the 23-year-old facing a spell on the sidelines with a knock picked up in pre-season

Stoke City will be without American winger Brek Shea for their Premier League opener against Liverpool.

Manager Mark Hughes confirmed that Shea, who picked up a knee injury in Stoke's 2-0 victory over Philadelphia Union on Tuesday, will definitely not be fit in time for the fixture.


However, the Welshman initially feared that Shea may be out for longer than the "number of weeks" he is now likely to miss.

"It's not as bad as we first feared which is great news for us, but we will still be without him for a number of weeks," Hughes told the club's official website. 

"He certainly won't be available for the first game of the season against Liverpool, but the medical staff here are excellent and we can expect him to be back sooner than people think given the nature of the injury."

Hughes believes that there is plenty of work to do between now and August 17, when the new campaign begins, and described his squad as a "work in progress".

"I think the players have taken giant strides in such a short space of time," he continued.

"The week coming up is a big week for us, and one that I am really looking forward to. There are areas that we have to improve upon, and we will be looking to work on them over the next seven days."

Hughes was appointed manager at the Britannia Stadium in May, replacing compatriot Tony Pulis, and has so far added to his squad by bringing in Dutch left-back Erik Pieters as well as defender Marc Muniesa from Barcelona.