Stoke striker Peter Crouch is desperate to play in Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with West Brom despite having his teeth knocked out in Wednesday's win over Newcastle.
The former England man was forced off the pitch five minutes before half-time after being caught in the mouth by a flailing arm from Magpies defender Fabricio Coloccini. Crouch lost two teeth while two more were driven into his gum, but the striker and Potters boss Tony Pulis are hopeful he will be able to play wearing a brace.
"Peter's gone to see a specialist today and we're going to see, if he's comfortable enough, whether he can wear a brace. So we haven't given up hope that he can be involved," Pulis said. "It's all about how he gets on with the brace. I spoke to him yesterday and he was very keen to be involved."
The Potters boss added: "Apart from that he feels fine so if he had a brace in there that will protect it, because if he gets another knock it could cause him more problems, but he was pretty positive.
"He's been an exceptional signing for this football club in lots of ways. He's a great lad and he wants to be part of it."
Whether Crouch is passed fit is likely to determine whether Michael Owen is included in the squad. The striker has missed the last month with a hamstring problem and, although he is now fit, Owen will not be preferred to either Kenwyne Jones or Cameron Jerome, who both made big impacts off the bench on Wednesday.
Wednesday's 2-1 win made it 10 points from the last 12 for Stoke, who climbed up to ninth in the table. But despite being unbeaten at the Britannia Stadium, they are yet to win on the road.
Pulis said: "We've played well away from home this season and I think we've been a little bit unfortunate. Some of our performances have been as good if not better than anything we've displayed in the Premier League.
"We just need a little bit of luck in front of goal and hopefully the two goals we scored on Wednesday will give us the confidence to go to West Brom and know we can score, because we've certainly been creating the chances."
- Sports & Recreation
- Peter Crouch
- Barclays Premier League
- Tony Pulis
- West Brom
- Fabricio Coloccini