sport

Assaidi targets swift return

Oussama Assaidi is optimistic he will return to action for Stoke soon but will not put his long-term fitness at risk.

The on-loan Liverpool winger suffered a knee injury during a training camp in Dubai in February after impressing for Stoke following his move from Anfield.

Assaidi tore a medial ligament and it was initially estimated he would be out of action for between four and six weeks.

He told Stoke City Player: "Things are certainly getting better, but my knee is still not fully healed.

"I could forget about the pain and play, but that would be a massive long-term risk, so I believe it's best to be patient and wait for it to get better before playing.

"I am recovering well so I hope it isn't too long until I can be picked to play again."

The Moroccan joined Liverpool in the summer of 2012 but did not make a Premier League start last season and was loaned to Stoke for this campaign.

After a slow start his importance to Mark Hughes' side grew and he made himself a Potters hero by scoring a spectacular winner against Chelsea in December.

Assaidi is due to head back to Anfield at the end of the season but he admits he does not yet know where his future lies.

The 25-year-old said: "I'm unsure what Stoke or Liverpool wants. I am really happy to play for Stoke and I am happy they gave me a chance to play regularly.

"I still have a contract with Liverpool and I hope the boss (Brendan Rodgers) gives me a chance.

"If not, I do not want to sit on the bench because I want to play games, so you never know what can happen in the future."