Sima, Campbell, Fox – Stoke City injury news ahead of Sheffield United trip



Stoke City’s international brigade have returned to training in full health today as Michael O’Neill prepares his squad to take on Sheffield United.

Captain Joe Allen was back in full training while Harry Souttar and Jordan Thompson, who only played on Tuesday night in Japan and Bulgaria respectively, have had a light session this morning.

Morgan Fox and Abdallah Sima remain in the treatment room, however, and Alfie Doughty will be assessed after sitting out today with illness.

O’Neill said: “The lads who were on international duty all trained today. Harry and Jordan, who played on Tuesday, did a lighter session. Joe played on Monday and did a little bit more. We were able to tailor their training.

“There are no other knocks. We have a close to a full squad. Morgan Fox and Sima are still on their way back. Alfie Doughty missed training today due to illness so we have to see how he is in the morning.

“Otherwise we’ve got a clean bill of health. Mario (Vrancic) is fine. He went to Germany prior going to meet up with the Bosnia squad but he felt his toe and didn’t want to take unnecessary risks with the games. He received some treatment with Germany and he’s been back training with us this week so he’s fine.”

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Deadline day Sima is back. out running on the grass after suffering an injury in an awkward spot just above his ankle.

The 20-year-old forward should be back in contention in a couple of weeks, which could mean a return in the Carabao Cup clash with Brentford or the following weekend’s home match against Cardiff.

Defender Fox, aged 28, has had rotten luck with hamstring injuries since last Christmas and has only made two appearances so far this season – having made only three in February in the second half of last season.

O’Neill said: “Sima will possibly be back in the next couple of weeks, Fox is still possibly four weeks away. With a hamstring injury it’s important we don’t rush him back. This is the third occurrence, albeit not in the same area on the same leg.

“We’ve got to manage him and make sure he’s as strong as possible because it’s been a little stop start for Morgan with the hamstring injuries he’s had since he came to the club.

“When he’s back it’s important that he’s durable and can stay fit and push to stay in the team.”

Tyrese Campbell has trained for four full days in a row with the first team for the first time as he steps up his return – on the back of four appearances with the under-23s.

O’Neill says the 21-year-old is looking more like his old self in training and the club’s focus remains on making sure he is right for the long haul, even if they want him back as soon as possible.

“He played in the 23s at Fulham last Friday for just over 80 minutes and I still think we’ve got to manage him a little bit,” said O’Neill.

“I think we probably see more of the Tyrese of old when we see him in training. That might be a bit of the mental side of playing in 23s games, which can be quite difficult for players, particularly coming back from a long injury.

“As I’ve said previously, Tyrese is an explosive player and we need to make sure that he is that player when he comes back. A diluted version of Tyrese isn’t going to help him and isn’t going to help us.

“We’ll just see how he progresses in the next week, 10 days, but he’s training well.

“He’s had a good training period with the squad, particularly this week. This is the first time, for example, that he’s been able to train four full days. He’s not had any affects from that.

“We’ll see how he goes tomorrow. We’re at a point now that we’re obviously very keen to reintroduce him but as we’ve said all along, we’ll do that when the time is right.”





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