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Whelan firmly on the comeback trail with Stoke

GLENN Whelan is back in training with Stoke City after injury forced him to miss Ireland's clashes with Scotland and the USA.

But the Premier League club still have concerns over Marc Wilson and fear that the defender will be missing for their weekend Premier League meeting with Burnley.

Whelan picked up a leg injury while on Euro 2016 duty for Ireland away to Germany last month and he's been unable to play since then. He reported to Dublin for training last week ahead of the Scotland game but was forced to return to his club as he was not match fit, but Stoke have since reported that the player is making good progress.

"Glenn's been desperate to come back," said Stoke's assistant boss Mark Bowen.

"It wasn't a weight-bearing problem, so he's been able to get over it quicker than other leg fractures - and he's the kind of character to make sure he doesn't spent any longer than he needs in the treatment room."

But Wilson will be absent for Saturday's game at home to Burley as he's yet to recover from the hamstring problem that sidelined him for the Scotland and USA matches with Ireland.

"Marc won't be right for the weekend.

"We had hoped he might be back fit, but he had a similar injury before which took longer than expected and we can't rush it," added Bowen.

"It's been strange this week. We've had about 10 or 12 players still in for training, but Ryan Shawcross and Marc Muniesa have been the only defenders we've had at the club.

"We've had to change training around to make sure we don't get any more injuries this week."

Wilson's absence forced Martin O'Neill to make changes to his settled back four as Derby County man Richard Keogh filled in at centre half in the defeat to Scotland, while Alex Pearce and Ciaran Clark were the central defenders for Tuesday's win over the USA.

The Antrim man had built a solid partnership at centre half alongside John O'Shea after a spell at left back, with Stephen Ward now established as first-choice left back.