Butland nearing Potters return

Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland could finally be on the verge of being available for selection once again after spending close to a year out injured.

The England international fractured his ankle while with the Three Lions squad a full 11 months ago and has been plagued by back luck as setback after setback has continued to delay his return to action.

However, Stoke boss Mark Hughes revealed his rehabilitation is back on track and he could feature again for the club within the next few weeks.

"He's had no setbacks – touch wood – since the last operation so the feeling is we're very hopeful that he'll be back very soon," Hughes said.

"I think he's got a meeting with a consultant in a week or two's time and I think that's when he'll hopefully be given a green light to do anything he wants in terms of full integration, so we're looking forward to that.

"Once he gets that then it'll be maybe a couple of weeks more that he'll be available for selection. That'd be great."