Mark Hughes’ injury worries are slowly on the decline. Here is the latest update of those keeping the doctors at the Bet365 Stadium busy.
Compared to this time last month, Hughes has far less of a concern on the health and state of some of his playing staff at Stoke City.
While a fair few of the recent injured party have made a return, some unfortunate souls are still being forced to watch from the side lines.
Stoke City’s current injuries
Jack Butland: (Ankle)
Perhaps the most frustrating of those currently ruled out for Hughes and Stoke fans alike.
Butland’s injury has been one that has come and gone for some time. With many a return date ‘pencilled’ in, the keeper is still not quite fighting fit.
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At the time of diagnosis, Butland was due to be back in action early in 2017. Leading up to the festive period however, the England international flirted on the edge of an early return.
It now, however, appears to be pushed back to mid-to-late February. Let’s just be thankful Lee Grant’s contract situation is done and dusted.
Geoff Cameron: (Knee)
Another due to be returning around the same time as Butland is the American defender, Geoff Cameron.
Cameron hasn’t featured in the Premier League since 22 October, when Stoke City defeated Hull 2-0 away from home.
The versatile centre-half is still side lined after severely damaging his MCL.
Jon Walters: (Knee, knock)
Irishman Walters will hope to be back in contention for Stoke City’s visit to the north-east when they take on Sunderland this weekend.
The attacking midfielder was left out of the squad for the FA Cup defeat at home to Wolves. After picking up a knock, Hughes will be hoping his selection of attacking options will be extended.
Stephen Ireland: (Leg)
Long-term absentee Stephen Ireland is pushing for a comeback in early February.
The Irishman hasn’t featured for Stoke City since breaking his leg in May 2016, but is closing in on return to training.