Potters stopper closer to comeback

Stoke City

Assistant manager Mark Bowen has revealed that Bruno Martins Indi could be back in training with Stoke by the end of this week.

The 25-year-old Netherlands international, who signed on a permanent five-year deal from Porto in the summer after a successful loan spell last term, suffered a groin injury in the 4-0 drubbing against Chelsea at the bet365 Stadium last month.

Martins Indi was expected to be absent for three weeks and it appears that will have been an accurate estimation as Bowen has confirmed he is now back running and closing in on a return to training.

“Bruno hasn’t joined the main group yet, but you see him running round the pitch doing the physical work,” he told the Sentinel.

“I hope towards the end of the week he’s looking to get involved, he said as much to me this morning, but obviously time will tell.”

Martins Indi is unlikely to be fit to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium when the Premier League returns on Saturday, while Ryan Shawcross remains sidelined with a back problem so boss Mark Hughes again faces a headache in naming his defence.

Meanwhile, the club are hoping Joe Allen will be fit despite suffering a head injury on international duty in Wales’ 1-0 World Cup qualification defeat against Republic of Ireland on Monday.