Jack Butland in action at the AMEX Stadium
Image by: BHAFC/Paul Hazlewood
22:00 10th April 2017
Keeper speaks after return to match action...
JACK BUTLAND revealed his delight after returning to competitive action in Monday’s Premier League 2 fixture away to Brighton & Hove Albion.
The 24-year-old completed the full 90 minutes at the AMEX Stadium some 13 months after sustaining an ankle injury while on international duty with England.
The 6ft 4in goalkeeper reported no ill effects from the U23s game on the south coast and told stokecityfc.com that the final box has now been ticked on his road to full fitness.
“It feels really good,” beamed the 24-year-old. “I’m just happy to be back out on the pitch again and to have come through the whole game.
“Obviously the last time didn’t go too well as I failed to get past the warm up so to be able to complete a game, despite the loss, I feel really pleased and comfortable. I knew I would come through the match though because I felt so good going into it.
“The ankle feels brilliant. There have been no ill effects or stiffness or anything like that so I feel a million times better than I did going in the last attempted comeback. I knew based on that I would get through the game and feel good after it.
“I suppose I had a busy first half with a couple of saves but I felt really comfortable and didn’t have anything in the back of my mind or any doubts.
“I felt really good kicking the ball and at ease being out on the pitch again which is the main thing, as well as coming out the other side feeling positive.
“It’s just nice to have ticked it off and I can now go home and hopefully prepare for a Premier League game at the weekend.”
The Potters first team welcome Hull City to the bet365 Stadium on Saturday and the 6ft 5in shot-stopper is hoping his performance on Monday evening will give manager Mark Hughes a decision to make on whether to include the keeper in his matchday squad against the Tigers.
“Obviously I feel ready and today was the last sort of box which needed to be ticked in terms of my rehab,” Butland expressed.
“I feel ready and am looking forward to going back to training and the next decision is now for the manager.
“Hopefully I’ve given him a headache towards the weekend having come through tonight. I’ll get ready for the weekend and then we will see.”