Stoke City winger returns after long lay-off



Stoke City winger Thibaud Verlinden stepped up his return from a long injury lay-off after he figured in the under-23s clash against Middlesbrough.

The suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury at the start of February, but played the opening 45 minutes of the 2-0 defeat against Borto on Monday.

Verlinden featured six times for the Potters last season, but spent the majority of the campaign at Bolton Wanderers.

He played alongside another first-team squad member in Tom Edwards against Boro as Kevin Russell’s side slipped to defeat in the Premier League 2 clash.

Stephen Walker had grabbed the opening goal just after the half-hour mark and that lead was doubled inside two minutes of the restart when Tyrone O’Neill found the target.

Stoke’s under-23s now have three points from their first two games having opened their season with a 4-0 thrashing of Leeds United a week ago.





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