Etherington injury boost for Stoke
Etherington was was stretchered off during Stoke's FA Cup draw at Manchester City and it was feared he could be out for the rest of the season. However, the 28-year-old underwent scans on Monday and the results showed no damage to his cruciate ligament meaning he could return as early as next month. Tony Pulis told the club's official website: "The news is as good as it could be at this stage. "If the cruciate ligament had been damaged then it would have been a long lay-off, but we're now hoping that he will be back in action sooner rather than later." Etherington has been in fine form this season, so much so that Pulis has been talking up his chances of an England call-up, but the Potters boss hopes his absence will lead to other players stepping up their game. He said: "There have been players in the squad pushing for a chance and this presents an opportunity for someone to step up and play a big part over the next few matches while Matty is on the sidelines."