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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Hughes Facing Defensive Dilemma

Kevin Wimmer

MARK HUGHES is facing the prospect of having just one fit senior central defender available to him against Chelsea this weekend.

The Welshman is already without the services of on-loan Blues defender Kurt Zouma whilst both Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron will once again miss out through injury.

That disappointment has been compounded further however, with the news that Kevin Wimmer is facing a race against time to be fit after sustaining a minor hamstring issue in the build-up to the clash.

Speaking to the press on Friday morning, Hughes said: “It’s fair to say we are struggling in defensive positions, which is hugely frustrating.

“Ryan Shawcross unfortunately isn’t going to make it, neither is Geoff Cameron and Kevin Wimmer is going to be touch and go too.

“Kevin is our major doubt for the game, so I am waiting on an update on his availability, we are desperately hoping he is ok.

“He has a hamstring injury which has hindered him this week, so we are going to have to check up on him this afternoon and then make a decision.”

He added: “Obviously had Kurt been available then we would have been able to manage, but as it stands we are down to just one senior defender, Bruno Martins Indi.”

The news could pave the way for Harry Souttar to step into the squad for the first time in the Premier League, although Hughes does have the option of moving Glen Johnson and Erik Pieters into more central positions.