Stoke have played down fears over Ryan Shawcross’ latest back problem and hope he will be fit to face Preston North End.
The influential skipper has been blighted by back problems over the last two seasons and there were fears he could be facing another spell on the sidelines after landing awkwardly in training.
Shawcross missed the 3-0 defeat to Burton Albion at the weekend with the problem, but assistant boss Mark Bowen says it is nothing serious and he should be back in training this week.
The Potters will not take any risks but all being well, he should be fit to face North End on Saturday.
“Naturally we were worried at first, but it’s nothing to do with his old injury,” Bowen told BBC Radio Stoke. “When he first went down we were thinking ‘what the hell is this now?’. But it’s just a little tweak in his back and he should be fit to train.
“As far as we’re aware he’s in the frame for Preston on Saturday.”