Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross is to undergo surgery on his back and will be sidelined for at least two months, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

The 27-year-old centre-back, a first-team stalwart since he signed from Manchester United in August 2007, struggled with a back problem last season and will go under the knife next week.

“The club had hoped surgery would not be necessary and that the summer break would provide a solution,” read a statement on the Stoke website.

“That initially appeared to be the case, but the harder Shawcross pushed himself in pre-season the more discomfort he found himself in, leaving no alternative but for him to undergo the operation.”

Stoke have finished ninth in the Premier League for the past two seasons and launch their 2015-16 campaign at home to Liverpool on Sunday.

By AFP .