Bowen confirms skipper’s absence

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Assistant boss reveals skipper will miss out on a first-team return against league leaders…
MARK BOWEN has confirmed skipper Ryan Shawcross will remain side-lined for this weekend’s trip to the Etihad Stadium.
The Potters have been without the influential England international since the 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns seven weeks ago.
The 30-year-old sustained a back injury in the build-up to the clash with his former club Manchester United last month, and Bowen has revealed that he will once more be forced to miss out on Saturday.
Speaking to the media in the build-up to this weekend’s encounter, the Welshman said: “He’s been getting on with his recovery and having injections, but obviously he’s not available for the weekend.
“I had a brief chat with him and he said it’s a case of not putting any deadlines on himself – the bottom line is he’s got to make sure he’s right.
“I’ve never had that injury, but I daresay if you start putting deadlines on yourself and you want to be fit for this game or that game and push yourself you can only have a reaction and set yourself back again.”
He added: “It’s important for him and for us to get him back on the field, but back on the field for a sustained challenge for the rest of the season, not to be in for a week or so and then back out again.”
Bowen also confirmed the Potters are sweating on the availability of several other players including Joe Allen, Bruno Martins Indi and Geoff Cameron, who isn’t expected to return back to Clayton Wood, following his international commitments, until Friday morning.