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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Assaidi Absent

MARK HUGHES has confirmed that on-loan Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi is facing a spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury during the recent warm weather training camp in Dubai.

The City boss refused to divulge the full prognosis of the Moroccan international's set-back, but did reveal that he will be absent for at least a number of weeks.

Speaking to Stoke City Player on Thursday morning, Hughes said: "Unfortunately we have lost Oussama Assaidi to a knee injury which is disappointing.

"He got a block tackle in training and just opened up his knee ligaments, so he is going to be out of action for a little while.

"We obviously hope that he is going to be back sooner rather than later, but it is one that we will just have to wait on unfortunately.

"Apart from that negative it was a good time away, and the quality of work that the lads produced was really encouraging."

The City boss did deliver promising news on defender Robert Huth's recuperation from injury however, after returning to full training during the week-long stay in Dubai.

"Robert joined in over there, and he is training out there as part of the group again today which is really encouraging," the Welshman added.

"We are trying to push him on a bit further now, because we have had to take our time with him after having a few initial set-backs.

"I think those were more to do with Robert's enthusiasm to get back as soon as possible, so because of that we have had to take a couple of steps back to progress him at the right rate.

"He is now starting to cope with the work we are asking him to do which is encouraging, and hopefully we can step him up again now."

Hughes is also without the services of on-loan Manchester City striker John Guidetti this weekend, meaning England international Peter Crouch looks primed to retain his spot in attack.

Andy Wilkinson and Matthew Etherington are also back in contention ahead of the fixture at the Etihad Stadium after feeling no effects of the injuries that had sidelined them in recent weeks.

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