Pulis allays Etherington fears
Tony Pulis has revealed Matthew Etherington has a cracked rib but he expects the Stoke winger to line up against Hajduk Split on Thursday. Etherington sustained the injury during the first leg of the Potters' Europa League third qualifying round tie at home to Split last week. He was the only senior member of Pulis' side omitted from their weekend friendly at Sheffield Wednesday, prompting fears over his fitness. However, Pulis is confident the 29-year-old will have recovered in time for the second leg in Croatia as Stoke look to build on their 1-0 advantage. "He's got a little crack, that's all, after running into someone in the first game," Pulis told The Sentinel. "It was nothing malicious and it's not a bad injury. "He was left out at Sheffield as a precaution. As things stand, he should be OK for Thursday." Pulis is expecting an attack-minded approach from Split when they meet in the second leg on Thursday but is confident his side can handle the challenge. "I wouldn't be surprised if they swapped things around a bit and maybe go with two up front for this one at their place," he added. "They will be a big challenge in front of their own fans, but we relish challenges like that."
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