Joe Allen is walking without the aid of crutches as he steps up his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury.
The 30-year-old midfielder has been back at Stoke City ‘s training ground this week as he tries to build up movement around his ankle.
He went down just before half-time of Stoke’s 5-1 win over Hull, their last game coming up to three months ago, and is making good progress.
O’Neill told Stoke City+: “Joe is walking, which is good. On the first day I saw him he was walking with the aid of crutches and now he’s walking without crutches.
“It’s a slow process for Joe, really. It’s just getting moving again. He’s been in a boot for a long time, which means muscle wastage which builds up over time. But it’s nice to see him again at the training ground.”
Winger Thibaud Verlinden suffered a knee injury against Preston in February and is also on the mend.
“Thibaud looks good,” said O’Neill.
“His knee has healed well, the scar. He’s been running on the AlterG treadmill and the next stage for him is to start running outside, which will be good for him as well.
“For the long-term injuries it’s been difficult for the players.
“The medical team have done a great job in maintaining that contact with those players during lockdown. They’ve had them in when it’s been feasible to do it. And the players have clearly applied themselves well as well.”