Jack Butland missed out on the final two months of the 2015-16 Premier League season, as well as a surefire place in the England squad for EURO 2016, after fracturing his ankle in a friendly against Germany last March.
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The 23-year-old Stoke City goalkeeper was aiming and originally on track for a return to action early in the 2016-17 season, but unexpected complications during his road to recovery will result in “a minor operation” early next week, Butland announced on Friday.
It sounds as though he could have continued his rehab and returned to the field with the “current ankle issue” unresolved, but only at the risk of doing further, more serious damage down the road. As an extremely young, established no. 1 goalkeeper, there’s no sense in that for Butland, or for Stoke. Shay Given will continue to deputize in Butland’s absence.