TONY PULIS has hinted that Charlie Adam will return to his starting line-up for Saturday’s encounter against Everton . . . however, he says he is yet to make a decision on who will replace the suspended Ryan Shotton at right back.
Adam, who sat out the Potters goalless draw with Aston Villa last weekend having incurred a one-match ban of his own, is expected to be included in the side as the Potters look to extend their unbeaten run at the Britannia Stadium to 15 games.
The most likely player to make way for the Scotland international is Dean Whitehead, although he could still feature in the team after Pulis confirmed that he is an option which he is considering to deputise for the absent Shotton in defence.
The most likely candidate to feature in that role, however, would be Andy Wilkinson, after he made a return to full training after picking up a back injury during the 1-1 draw with West Ham United last month.
“It’s something that I will be looking at over the next 24 hours,” Pulis said during the pre-match press conference. “It’s hugely disappointing to lose Ryan in the manner that we have, but we have to get on with it.
“We have a couple of options. Deano has played in that position before, and Wilko is available again, so we will assess things and then make a decision.”
He added: “It’s great to have Charlie available again following suspension, and he is chomping at the bit to get back amongst it again.”
City's boss also confirmed that Michael Owen is unlikely to be risked against the Toffees, despite coming through 70 minutes of Tuesday’s behind-closed-doors friendly against Preston North End unscathed.
“We have maybe pushed Michael a little bit too hard at times, so we want to give him another week, and maybe fit another game in for him in that time too. We need to make sure he is ready when we do include him again," he added.