Goalkeeper Jack Butland reported “no issues” as he returned to action 13 months after his last competitive appearance.
The 24-year-old’s only outings for Stoke’s senior team since he fractured his ankle when on England duty in March 2016 came during pre-season friendlies back in the summer, and setbacks in August and December have prolonged his absence.
Butland has now been back in full training for two weeks and played for Stoke’s Under-23 side against Brighton, completing 90 minutes in a 2-0 defeat.
“Full 90 minutes with no issues and felt really comfortable being back out there! so happy to be back on the pitch again” he tweeted after the game.
Having suffered the initial injury in Germany on March 26, Butland was scheduled to return at the start of this campaign only for his first setback to occur on the eve of the new Premier League season.
A further operation kept him out until December when he was lined up for the development squad’s game against Reading, which he pulled out of after feeling pain in his ankle during the warm-up.