Stoke boss Mark Hughes has confirmed Jack Butland is facing up to 10 weeks out following his ankle surgery.
That was the timeframe suggested by the club’s chairman Peter Coates last week, ahead of Potters and England goalkeeper Butland having the operation on Monday.
And Hughes said on Friday: “I saw Jack yesterday, for the first time since the operation.
“All reports are it went really well. It was a little bit of scar tissue that was restricting the movement of the tendon in the ankle. That has all been cleared out.
“The likelihood is that it will be somewhere between six to 10 weeks when he comes back, and we are very hopeful the issue he has had is resolved now.”
Butland is yet to play this season having sustained the injury in training with Stoke last month – the same ankle he broke while on international duty in March.
With the 23-year-old remaining sidelined, Shay Given, 40, is set to keep his place in goal for the Staffordshire outfit for an extended run.
And it is expected Saturday’s Premier League home clash with Tottenham will see Lee Grant come into the matchday squad as back-up for Given, replacing Jakob Haugaard, who has been nursing an ankle problem of his own.
Grant, recruited from Derby, is one of three players Stoke signed on loan on transfer deadline day last week.
And there could be debuts for the other two, striker Wilfried Bony and defender Bruno Martins Indi, brought in from Manchester City and Porto respectively.
Bony has struggled to make an impact following his move in January 2015 to the Etihad Stadium, but was in fine form prior to that for Swansea.
Goalscoring has been something of a problem for Stoke and Hughes is optimistic Bony can help improve things on that front.
“We hope so,” Hughes said.
“We have been really impressed with Wilfried since he came to the club. He has only been here a short time but even in his training sessions you see the quality he has.
“He is scoring three, four, five goals in almost every training session.
“We’re really excited by him being here. We feel he’ll add a key element to how we want to play and give us that cutting edge that maybe we’ve lacked in the past.”
Hughes added: “We feel Wilfried is maybe one of those players who needs to play week in, week out to get the best out of them.
“I think coming in and out of Man City’s team, only coming on as substitute and not starting games, has maybe affected him detrimentally, because prior to that he was at Swansea and was outstanding in the Premier League.
“We are very encouraged by what we’ve seen in training and there’s no reason why he can’t replicate that in games.”
Stoke head into Saturday’s match lying bottom of the table, having so far drawn 1-1 at Middlesbrough and then lost 4-1 at Manchester City and 1-0 at Everton.
Hughes said of that start: “It is not a concern at all.
“Clearly we want to get the first win on the board if we can because that just settles everything down, but in terms of performances we’ve been okay, and we fully expect ourselves to get better week after week.”