January 12, 2018 / 7:12 AM / 6 months ago

Soccer: Stoke handed double Dutch injury boost ahead of Man Utd clash

(Reuters) - Stoke City defenders Erik Pieters and Bruno Martins Indi have returned to training after injury layoffs and the Dutch duo could feature in Monday’s Premier League fixture against Manchester United, assistant coach Kevin Russell has said.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Stoke City vs Swansea City - bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Britain - December 2, 2017 Stoke City's Bruno Martins Indi is stretchered off after sustaining an injury REUTERS/Andrew Yates

Centre back Martins Indi has been sidelined with a groin strain since early December, while left back Pieters was substituted in the second half of the league defeat to Newcastle United on Jan. 1 with a hamstring problem.

“Erik and Bruno both joined in training today for the first time which was a positive for us,” Russell told a news conference on Thursday.

“Obviously, it is still too early to determine whether they will be available for Monday but the fact that they are back in training bodes well.”

Stoke, who sacked manager Mark Hughes after the FA Cup defeat to Coventry City on Jan. 6, are 18th in the league on 20 points after winning just five of their 22 fixtures.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Stoke City - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - December 9, 2017 Stoke City's Erik Pieters looks dejected after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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