ASSISTANT MANAGER Mark Bowen has revealed that Xherdan Shaqiri has resumed training ahead of Stoke City‘s EFL Cup clash with Hull City.
The Swiss international, who has missed five games with a calf injury, has put himself in the frame for the third round tie at the bet365 Stadium but Bowen insists Mark Hughes has yet to decide whether or not to hand him the chance to return.
Bowen told the media: “Xherdan did a little bit of training on Friday, his first day back, but he’s trained with us for the last two days so the manager will have to make a decision.
“Is it too early to chuck him in after two proper training sessions? He’s a naturally fit lad anyway – he lives his life right – so I don’t know how long the process will be before he’s in contention for a start but the good news is he is back in training.
“He’s in the squad for the Hull game. It will be the manager’s decision whether he starts him or whether he plays any part or whether we give him another few days. But he’s definitely fit and in the squad.”
Jon Walters is a doubt with a foot injury he sustained in Sunday’s defeat at Crystal Palace but Bowen confirmed that Hughes is likely to make wholesale changes to his starting line-up.
“I know it’s a cliché but you only have the chance to win a few competitions and this is one of them,” he added. “Wherever we’ve been Mark has always tried to go as strong as possible in the League Cup and I would imagine it will be the same again this time around.
“He’ll sit down with the staff to discuss the team tomorrow but I wouldn’t expect too many changes.”
Jakob Haugaard remains unavailable with a foot injury which could open the way for Lee Grant to make his debut following his deadline day loan move from Derby if Hughes decides to make a change in the goalkeeping department.