When Joe Allen was stretched from the pitch eight days ago he knew deep down that his Euro 2020 dreams were shattered.
Fearing the worst, a serious achilles tendon injury, the Stoke favourite hobbled away from the bet365 Stadium on crutches with an expression to match the occasion.
When asked: “It’s going to be a few weeks out, Joe?” he politely replied: “I think it will be a bit longer than that.”
Not only was his domestic season over, but so too those dreams of representing Wales in a major championships for possibly the last time at the age of 30.
But now the coronavirus outbreak has changed everything – not least the timing of the Euros – and Uefa meet on Tuesday to discuss the current crisis.
Top of the agenda is this summer’s championships, due to be played in a dozen cities across the continent, and there will be a huge surprise if they don’t announce a postponement.
Probably until next summer by removing or postponing the Nations League to accommodate the bigger tournament in the summer of 2021 instead.
Which brings us back to Joe Allen and who could deny the midfield maestro his shot at international glory after playing his part in Wales reaching the 2016 semi-finals?
One more carrot to dangle in front of the Stoke favourite as he hopefully heads towards a playing comeback for his club later this year.
Coronavirus permitting, of course.
As for his spirits in the meantime, the early signs are good according to manager Michael O’Neill who reported on Friday: “Good to see his spirits were good, even though he was very disappointed with the timing and nature of the injury.
“The important thing now is that we work together, him and the club, to make sure his return is as quick as possible.”