STOKE CITY are waiting to discover the outcome of a scan on Glenn Whelan’s hamstring problem as they prepare for Monday night’s visit to West Ham United.
Whelan had to come off in the first half of the Republic of Ireland’s friendly against Greece with a recurrence of the injury which he sustained early last month.
The possible absence of the 28-year-old midfielder presents manager Tony Pulis with a selection headache due to the absence of the suspended Dean Whitehead.
While Whelan could be missing through injury, Whitehead definitely misses the lived televised game at Upton Park after accumulating five yellow cards this season.
“Glenn has had a scan on the hamstring today, so we’ll wait to see the outcome,” manager Tony Pulis revealed at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“He felt the hamstring tighten up a little, so he took no chance in coming off. Hopefully, it is not too serious and we do still have three days to see how he gets on.
“It would be a blow to lose him with Deano also being suspended, but we do have other options and we do have players who have been pushing for an opportunity.”
Two players who fall into category are Wilson Palacios and Maurice Edu who have been restricted to places on the substitutes bench for much of the season so far.
“This might be Wilson’s opportunity if Glenn is not fit,” admitted City’s manager. “I’ve sensed a desire over the past month that he wants to prove to people that he can play in the Premier League. He’s certainly trained a lot better and he’s desperate for a chance.
“Wilson is certainly one who is in the frame, but there are a number of others in the same situation, so we’ll see how things work out in training over the next couple of days.”
One midfielder who cannot be considered for a recall is Rory Delap who has now begun his rehabilitation after undergoing surgery on a hernia problem.
And Pulis indicated that the West Ham match will probably come too soon for Michael Owen to return to the squad as he battles to overcome a hamstring injury.