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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Under Starters Orders?

TONY PULIS has confirmed that long-term injury victim Marc Wilson and deadline day signing Brek Shea will both feature against Fulham at Craven Cottage this weekend.

Wilson hasn't featured for the first-team since breaking his leg last October, whilst American international Shea hasn't played competitively for a similar amount of time having undergone surgery for a problematic foot injury, prior to his move from FC Dallas.

However, the pair are firmly on the comeback trail according to the City boss, and he says a late decision will be made on whether to include them in his starting eleven as the Potters bid to complete a league double over the Cottagers.

"Both of them will be involved in the squad, one way or another," Pulis said at Thursday morning's pre-match press conference.

"Marc has taken his time in lots of respects and we have taken our time with him, but he is very, very close to returning now.

"We are desperate to get him back because he is such an important player for us, as I have stated on numerous occasions before.

"I will have a look at one or two things over the next 24 hours, and then make a decision on Marc, but I would like him available to start the game."

He added: "Brek has settled in really well here, and he is an incredibly fit lad, but in some aspects this is still like a pre-season for him because of the time he has been out.

"He isn't far off though, because he is such a naturally fit lad, so we will take a look at him over the next day or two and assess things from there. He will be in the squad though."

One player who is all but certain to miss the trip to London is former England hit-man Michael Owen. 

The 33-year-old twinged his thigh in training on Tuesday, and Pulis is disappointed not to be able to call upon his services.

"Michael felt his thigh a little bit on Tuesday and that is a blow for us because he trained ever so well," he added.

"He looked sharp and he looked fit, so this is a bit of a setback for him, and it us for us too because we would have liked to have had him available to us."

Meanwhile, fellow front-man Cameron Jerome should be ok to feature at the weekend, despite limping out of Monday's behind-closed-doors friendly against Scunthorpe with a knock to the knee.

"Cameron will hopefully be ok," he said. "He got a knock to the knee in the game in the week, but I'm sure that he will be available to us for the game."

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