When Stoke City last competed in a Championship match on January 2nd, the club was still dealing with a few key injuries — Those injuries for Stoke City being forward Dwight Gayle being out, midfielder Josh Laurent having missed time, and wing-back Dujon Sterling continuing to battle an injury bout.
Now skip ahead two weeks later with more time to recover and after Laurent was able to return against Preston North End, and Stoke City could be close to full strength on Saturday.
The Potters Close To Full Health Against Sheffield United
Out of the World Cup break in December, midfielder Josh Laurent was absent from the club due to an injury — After returning as a substitute against Preston North End though on January 2nd, his injury seems to be behind him and he should be available this Saturday.
The bigger question marks for Stoke City against The Blades will come down to the statuses of Dwight Gayle and Dujon Sterling. However, at least one of those players has a very good shot at being back on the pitch for The Potters.
Dwight Gayle, who according to manager Alex Neil two weeks ago wasn’t “far away at all” from returning, will most likely be available for selection on matchday. Gayle’s available status comes after he was able to return as a substitute last Saturday in the FA Cup against Hartlepool.
The only question for Gayle’s status will come down to whether or not the veteran forward escaped last Saturday’s match without re-aggravating his injury. As for Dujon Sterling, the Chelsea loanee is a major doubt for Saturday.
Dujon Sterling who has spent most of his Stoke City time so far off the field injured, doesn’t appear ready to return just yet — Just two weeks Alex Neil was quoted as saying Sterling was still “a little bit longer” away.