Stoke's Shawcross out with back injury

Stoke-on-Trent, England ( - Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross will be out for the next three weeks because of a back injury, the club confirmed on Friday.

The defender suffered the injury in Stoke's 3-1 win over QPR last weekend and he had to be taken off late in the first half of the contest.

Shawcross will now spend the next three weeks on the sidelines because of the injury, meaning he will miss league matches with Newcastle and Manchester City as well as an FA Cup fifth-round fixture against Blackburn.

The 27-year-old has started 22 of Stoke's 23 games in league play, while manager Mark Hughes will be short on defensive options against Newcastle this weekend with fellow defender Erik Pieters also out.