Whelan back to boost the Potters
Stoke boss Tony Pulis could be set to welcome back midfielder Glenn Whelan for his side's Premier League game against Sunderland.
Whelan returned to training on Thursday after recovering from the hamstring problem he picked up in the 0-0 draw at Liverpool earlier this month.
The injury forced the Irishman to miss Stoke's trip to Old Trafford last weekend to face Manchester United as well as his country's two World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Faroe Islands.
Pulis said: "We will see how Glenn is between now and kick-off. He has had this injury for a couple of weeks now and we are hoping to get him back in to things again.
"He has returned to training again, having not trained during the rest of the week, so we will have another look at him on Friday and then assess what we are going to do on Saturday."
The City manager has no other injury worries ahead of Saturday's clash at the Britannia Stadium, but striker Cameron Jerome could be set to leave the club on loan before the weekend after npower Championship side Blackburn were strongly linked with a move for the player.