Joe Allen is out of Sunday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Georgia in Cardiff, Wales manager Chris Coleman has confirmed.
The Stoke City midfielder scored with a stunning long-range strike in their 2-2 draw in Austria on Thursday.
But he came off after the break with a hamstring injury and a scan later underlined the extent of the injury.
Wales are already without Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who also has a hamstring problem.
Defender Neil Taylor described Allen’s absence as a “massive blow”.
Coleman added: “Have we got enough to get a result on Sunday without Joe Allen? Yes, we have. So I won’t make any excuses.”
The Wales manager says he could “probably have gambled” and kept Allen on the pitch.
“But we don’t want to be doing that. He had a twinge in his hamstring, so that’s why we took him off immediately,” added Coleman.
“Joe belongs to Stoke City and we have to send him back in the condition that we received him. That’s why we he came off.”
Wales remain top of Group D on goal difference but level on points with second-placed Serbia, while Austria and the Republic of Ireland – who beat Georgia 1-0 – drop to third and fourth respectively.
Bale: Wales ‘frustrated’, but defended ‘solidly’
Midfielder Gareth Bale said Wales were “frustrated”, but underlined their qualities to win a point in Vienna.
“It’s a difficult place to come if you look at their record in qualifying,” said the Real Madrid player.
“They didn’t lose at all [in qualifying for the Euros] and drew one game.
“We know we weren’t at our best tonight. It was a difficult game. They’re a very good team.
“This is what we’ve grown up to do – we grind out results when we need them.
“When we don’t play well we defend solidly as a team. We get something from the game.
“We were frustrated. We know we didn’t play well enough tonight.”
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37581241