Date: 4th December 2008 at 1:20pm
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Liam Lawrence is back in training for the first time since he injured his ankle after tripping over the pet labrador back in September.

The bizarre accident has left the Potters without the benefit of our most creative midfielder and even though we haven’t done too badly without him, he is certainly someone who we need back in the first team as soon as possible.

He told the BBC: ‘I’ve started light training, a bit of jogging and bike work so hopefully in a couple of weeks I’ll be fully fit.’

If that’s the case and he’s not being too hopeful then that should put him in contention for a place for the visit to Blackburn Rovers on December 20th and boost Tony Pulis’ options for the Boxing Day match against Manchester United at the Brit.

It seems likely that Dave Kitson and Ryan Shawcross will both be missing from this weekend’s trip to Newcastle. They both suffered injuries during the win against West Brom ten days ago and both are regarded as very doubtful.

Abdoulaye Faye and Andy Griffin will be looking forward to returning to their old club as Stoke aim to get revenge for last season’s 4-1 FA Cup defeat at St. James Park.