Date: 16th February 2011 at 4:25pm
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Tony Pulis has stated that he expects key player Matty Etherington to be fit for this weekend`s FA Cup 5th round tie with Brighton. The 29 year-old has struggled with a Hamstring injury of late and missed Saturday`s defeat at Birmingham.

Matty has been Stoke`s most consistent performer in the last 12 months but has gone off the boil in the past few weeks. Saturday`s cup game will provide a good opportunity for Etherington to rediscover some his best form against lower league opposition.

Pulis said “Matthew’s been a bit sore, but he’s all right and the fitness lads think he’ll be OK. He did a bit of jogging for about an hour yesterday and then went for a dip in the pool before having an injection.”

Jon Walters replaced him at St Andrews and he is the most likely to miss out. Jon`s work rate is commendable but he doesn`t give the same attacking threat as Matty down the left side. However, if Pulis decides that either Kenwyne Jones or John Carew could do with a deserved rest, Walters could find himself in his preferred position upfront