Michael Owen insists he's close to a first Stoke City start.

The former England striker has managed just 53 minutes for Stoke in four substitute appearances since signing as a free agent in September.

And he was handed a punishing session before the 1-0 home victory over Fulham as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Owen said: "I'm back in full training.

"The physios and the medical team were up at the stadium for Saturday's match. So I trained there.

"They made me run up every stairway at the ground.

"It was a hard old session."