Apr 27, 2011

Stoke wait on Etherington fitness

share on facebook

Etherington was in agony as he went down in the first half Stoke winger Matthew Etherington faces a race against time to be fit for the FA Cup final on 14 May after a scan revealed he had torn his hamstring.

The 29-year-old suffered the injury 30 minutes into the 3-0 win over Wolves on Tuesday and was then carried off injured.

Stoke play Manchester City in the Wembley final and assistant boss Dave Kemp refused to rule Etherington out.

"The club will do everything they can to get him fit," said Kemp.

Etherington hopes to appear in his second FA Cup final having played for West Ham in their heartbreaking defeat by Liverpool.

The Hammers were on the way to a 3-2 victory before Steven Gerrard's last-minute equaliser took the game into extra time. Liverpool eventually won on penalties.

"It's not good news but it all depends on how he treats it and if he can recover," Kemp told BBC Radio Stoke after Etherington's scan on Wednesday.

"He is disappointed, but as long as there is hope, there is a chance."

Etherington has been a key member of Stoke's FA Cup run, scoring in the semi-final, to help send the Potters into the final.

And Stoke manager Tony Pulis is in no doubt how vital Etherington is to his side.

After Tuesday's game Pulis told BBC Radio 5 live: "Everyone has their fingers crossed. We will do our best to try to get him on the pitch because he is important to us.

"It's a game that we'll desperately want him to play and it's a game that Matt will desperately want to play.

"We will go to every measure we possibly can as a football club to give him the best opportunity."

Meanwhile, forward Ricardo Fuller is also a doubt for the final against Manchester City, having suffered an Achilles problem in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.

"It's a bad blow for us," added Pulis. "If you look at the squad and the size of the club, we need our top players to be fit for us to be at our best.

"We are not Manchester City, we have not got multi-millionaires standing around waiting for their chances.

"This is a bread and butter football club, the players work very hard and we need everyone fit."

Stoke midfielder Rory Delap added: "It didn't look good after the game. We are all devastated if it is what everyone thinks it is.

"You never know with the scan but we are all thinking of him and we know how devastated he is.

"He's been a big part of this club and it will be devastating if Ricardo misses the final."



Post a Comment