Fit-again Fuller raring to go

Stoke striker believes shoulder will be fully healed in a month

Fuller: Braced for action

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Ricardo Fuller is confident his shoulder can withstand the rigours of Premier League football after coming through two games in four days unscathed.

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The Jamaican striker suffered a dislocated shoulder against Newcastle in September and although he made a rapid return, he suffered a similar injury two games later at Bolton.

The 31-year-old came back into the starting line-up for last week's home game against Birmingham, though, and scored in the 3-2 victory before scoring again in Saturday's 2-0 win over Liverpool.

"The shoulder is getting stronger every day because I've been resting it and getting physiotherapy," he told The Sentinel.

Brace

"I have to strap it up in a shoulder brace which the club had bought for me to wear. I can't play or train without it.

"It is a precautionary measure so that the shoulder does not slip out again. Hopefully, in another couple of weeks to a month, the injury will be healed."

Fuller's spectacular strike against Birmingham was his 100th goal in British football.

After an unsuccessful spell with Crystal Palace in 2001, Fuller returned to the UK with Hearts and went on to score for Preston, Portsmouth, Southampton and Ipswich before joining Stoke in the summer of 2006.

"It has been an up and down journey in British football, mainly because of injuries," he added. "Even as a boy coming through the Jamaican system, injuries set me back.

"But I have never given up. I'm a determined player and I never let anything come between me and my dream of becoming a professional footballer."

Partner

Fuller's journey included a spell alongside Kenwyne Jones at Southampton during the 2005/06 season and the Caribbean pair were reunited this summer.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis signed Jones from Sunderland for a club record £8million and the 26-year-old also scored against Liverpool, making it six goals in 14 games for the Trinidad and Tobago international since joining the Potters.

"He is actually one of my students," said Fuller. "He was my partner at Southampton and everything I used to do he'd follow.

"For him to come to Stoke may be a match made in heaven."