Football: Liverpool's Allen ruled out for up to four weeks

LONDON (AFP) - Liverpool suffered a blow on the eve of the new Premier League season as Wales midfielder Joe Allen was ruled out for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury.

Allen suffered the problem in the early stages of Liverpool's friendly against Swindon last weekend and he was eventually forced to limp off.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, speaking at Friday's press conference ahead of his side's league opener at Stoke on Sunday, said: "He will probably miss three to four weeks, which is disappointing.

"He certainly won't be available for the weekend."

There was better news for Rodgers about Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge, who is on course to make his comeback from a hip injury in early September.

Sturridge continues to recover following an operation in Boston to rectify the long-standing hip problem.

He made only 18 appearances last season as he struggled with a succession of injury concerns, with his last appearance coming in FA Cup win at Blackburn in April.

But this week he posted a video of him running and kicking and heading a ball on social media with the message "Closer...".

"Daniel will hopefully be back towards the beginning of September - he's working very hard," Rodgers said when asked for a Sturridge fitness update.