Shawcross is likely to miss the opening day of the season against Liverpool.
Shawcross looks almost certain to miss Sunday's encounter which will be a big blow to the Potters as they look to inflict more misery on their opponents, after thrashing the Reds 6-1 on the final day of last season.
The defender looks to have suffered a back injury, something which he struggled with pretty frequently, and as a result has not had much pre-season football under his belt.
Coates told the Sentinel: "Of course we are disappointed with the situation, but no blame is attached to anyone. The view from people who understand these things was that they thought he would be okay.
"We thought the management he was having was going to work, but unfortunately he's still got a problem.
"But what they did previously was the right thing. You do not want to be talking about operating on somebody until you have exhausted all other routes."
It is perhaps a boost for Liverpool ahead of the trip to Britannia as they look to avenge the hammering that was dished out from last season, while Stoke will feel they could have done without this setback for Shawcross given they have a couple of very tricky games to kick off their Premier League campaign.
He has been the rock at the heart of their defence for many a year, so any game he is absent from is a blow for Stoke, and a boost for their opponents.