Belfast Telegraph

Etherington back after jaw op

Matthew Etherington could face his former club West Ham on Saturday at Upton Park after having his jaw realigned.

As a result of the displacement the Stoke midfielder suffered a back problem which meant he played only a cameo role in the draw with West Brom on Monday. Etherington is now making good progress and manager Tony Pulis will continue to monitor the player ahead of the Barclays Premier League match against the Hammers.

Pulis said: "We will have to wait and see and whether he can play a part on Saturday. He will want to play as he did on Monday."

He added: "We put him on for 20-25 minutes and he looked very tentative. But players want to play and Matty is no different.

"They have sorted out his jaw line and what goes with it. Apparently it is back in working order. Who am I to say? I have to laugh at what goes on now."

Meanwhile Pulis is stepping up his bid to maintain the services of goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen at the Britannia Stadium. The Danish international has lost his place to Asmir Begovic but Pulis wants the 34-year-old to remain on board.

Sorensen's contract runs out at the end of next season and Pulis said: "We would love Thomas to sign a new deal. His agent has been on so we would love to get that done if we can."

With veteran Carlo Nash also at the club, the Stoke boss is pleased with the goalkeepers at his disposal. He said: "I think our three are as good as any in the league. Part of our future next season? I would be disappointed if they are not."

Begovic, 23, is set to retain his place after an impressive display against West Brom.

Pulis said: "The kid (Begovic) is an exceptional goalkeeper. He has all the talent you would want. But he is young, inexperienced and he is going to make mistakes like he did at Birmingham. We have to take that on the chin, be careful with him and give him as much backing when he needs it and as much support as he can get."


From Belfast Telegraph