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Stoke continue to play waiting game with skipper Shawcross

Stoke City will remain patient with captain Ryan Shawcross as he continues his recovery from back surgery.


The centre-back has not featured for the Potters this season after undergoing the operation in the summer but is nearing a first-team return after getting through 90 minutes in a bounce match on Thursday.

Shawcross added a full runout to the 45 minutes he got under his belt for the U21s last week but manager Mark Hughes insists he will not be rushed after getting this far in his rehab.

"Today was another step up for him. We wanted him to get some more minutes and he completed 90, which is his first since the operation, so that is good," said Hughes.

"The initial idea was to give him 60, 65 or 70 today but he felt good so we left him on and he came through it, so that is encouraging.

"But he probably needs a couple more games before he is in consideration. He hasn't had too many sessions with the senior group over the last couple of weeks, so he'll need another couple of weeks I'm sure.

"It is a case of making sure Ryan is ready to come back and that when he does, he is able to hit the ground running and be at the level he was before the injury.

"He's progressing well, we are really pleased with where he is at the moment, and the key now is that he doesn't get any adverse reactions to playing or training."

Stoke, who occupy 14th position on the Premier League table after two straight wins, are preparing for Monday night's trip to 11th-placed Swansea City.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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