Joe Allen plays for Liverpool FC
JOE ALLEN is ready to go under the knife before the end of the campaign – so he can hit the ground running for Liverpool next season.
Allen is facing around three months on the sidelines after discovering a recurrence of an old shoulder injury had deteriorated to the point where further surgery is required.
The Welshman has played on with the problem since October but has become increasingly troubled by the complaint in recent weeks.
Liverpool will have the final say on when the operation takes place, and Allen has intimated he would prefer that is in the coming weeks.
“It is something that needs sorting out,” said the midfielder. “I had an operation a few years ago and unfortunately it is a recurrence.
“It has slowly deteriorated to the point where an operation is the only thing that can solve it.
“I can play on, but it is all about the timing because I will be out for three months.
“Obviously, I don’t want to miss the start of next season if I can but we will see what the club have planned because it is a reasonably long lay-off.”
With Allen expected to be in Chris Coleman’s Wales squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers with Scotland and Croatia, an operation is unlikely to take place until April at the earliest.
With Liverpool back in the running for a European place following Sunday’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur, Brendan Rodgers might be loath to lose Allen at this stage.
Equally, the former Swansea man would benefit from a full pre-season at Anfield, given he did not join the Merseyside giants until after his Olympic commitments with Team GB.
And next week he will be fully focused on Wales anyway, as they look to build on an encouraging win over Austria last month by completing a World Cup double over Scotland on Friday.
That initial victory over the Scots in October effectively signalled the end of Craig Levein’s reign.
It also marked the climax of a tortuous period for new Wales manager Chris Coleman, who had struggled to maintain the improvements made under Gary Speed.
“These things take time,” said Allen. “It was a difficult period for everyone in Welsh football but recent performances and results show we are moving in the right direction.
“We have always had the talent and ability that’s for sure.
“Now we are getting to the stage where we are benefiting from past experiences and we are ready to take it to the next level.”
Meanwhile, Jose Enrique admits Liverpool had to overcome a mental block to beat Tottenham at the weekend.
Rodgers’ side had failed to win any of their previous nine meetings with top-six sides and Enrique said: “To be honest, I didn't think we would win the game when they scored their second goal.
“Why? Because it is difficult to win these games. The statistics speak for themselves, look at how we have done against the top six teams this season.
“Of course, you always try to win every game, but in terms of our mentality we hadn't had good experiences of this type when we've been losing.
“But the team worked very hard and this is the important thing because when the team stick together you can see the results. The character from the team was really good.”