McClean Nearing Return

James McClean

GARY ROWETT says he will assess James McClean over the next 48 hours before making a decision to include him in Saturday’s squad against Rotherham United.

The Republic of Ireland winger was given the all-clear to return to full training on Thursday after suffering a broken arm on international duty earlier this month.

McClean has made a startling recovery after it was originally thought that the 29-year-old would be out of action for up to six weeks.

Rowett says McClean has been chomping at the bit to return to match action but admits he will need to be cautious before making his final verdict on the former West Brom man.

“James is back in training but it’s a difficult one to make a call on,” the Potters boss said in his weekly pre-match press conference.

“First and foremost, he’s the type of player you want around because he will scrap, fight and give absolutely everything for the good of the team and we’ve missed that.

“Of course he’s the first one to share his good news with everyone because he wants to get back in the team but we’ve got to assess the risk of his injury.

“If he plays and gets injured again then what would that timescale be or is there a good chance that he will get through it, that’s something we’ll sit down and discuss before the weekend.

“The good news is that he’s taken part in his first full contact training session and as far as I’m aware he completed it unscathed.”

Meanwhile, Rowett has confirmed that he will most likely be without Peter Crouch and Mame Diouf for Saturday’s televised encounter at the New York Stadium.

Crouch was forced off in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup defeat against Nottingham Forest while Diouf will be on the sidelines for at least a fortnight with a hamstring injury.

“Peter came off because he had an issue with his hip and back,” he added.

“Initially I thought it was something to do with his groin with the way he limped off but the overall prognosis isn’t that bad but it is probable that he will be unavailable at the weekend.

“Mame Diouf has a grade one hamstring injury so he will probably be a week or two away, it’s not quite as serious as we first thought but he’ll also miss out on Saturday.”