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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Shawcross Decision Not Yet Made

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MARK HUGHES says Ryan Shawcross is his one major doubt ahead of tomorrow's final home game of the year against Aston Villa.

The skipper had to be withdrawn late on during Wednesday night's 2-0 Capital One Cup Quarter-Final reverse against the Red Devils with a groin injury.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference on Friday, the Welshman said that a decision hasn't yet been made on the defenders availability.

"Ryan hasn't trained yet, but we are going to give him as long as we can. He will have a fitness test tomorrow morning before the game.

"If he isn't available we will have to rearrange a few things and make a few changes but he is a doubt at the moment.

"If we have to leave him out tomorrow to be sure of having him over the Christmas period we will do that, because we certainly don't want to lose him long-term."

Hughes also told reporters that he has concerns over a number of other players in his squad ahead of the Premier League fixture.

"Crouchy is a bit of a doubt too and Jon Walters has a bit of a problem with his ankle, but the real worry is Ryan," he added.

"Robert [Huth] is still unavailable. He won't be involved in the Christmas period, but Marc [Wilson], has come in and been exceptional so that has been pleasing.

"We don't want to rush Robert because his long-term availability is more important than his short-tem availability."

Meanwhile, midfielder Steven Nzonzi is expected to be fit for the game after missing the midweek tie through illness.

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