Goalkeeper Jack Butland is expected to feature for Stoke’s under-23s at Brighton on Monday evening, 13 months after his most recent competitive appearance.
The 24-year-old’s only outings for Stoke’s senior team since he fractured his ankle when on England duty in March 2016 came during pre-season friendlies back in the summer, and setbacks in August and December have prolonged his absence.
Butland has now been back in full training for two weeks and has been pencilled in to play in the contest at the Amex Stadium.
Having suffered the initial injury in Germany on March 26, Butland was scheduled to return at the start of this campaign only for his first setback to occur on the eve of the new Premier League season.
A further operation kept him out until December when he was lined up for the development squad’s game against Reading, which he pulled out of after feeling pain in his ankle during the warm-up.
More treatment delayed Butland’s return but he could still make an appearance for Mark Hughes’ men this season provided his latest comeback goes to plan.