Premier League

Pulis backs Beattie fitness

Potters manager backs striker to be fit after head injury

Beattie: Bandaged

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Stoke boss Tony Pulis is confident James Beattie will be fit for Saturday's clash with Blackburn after suffering a blow to the head against Newcastle.

Beattie was left in a bloody heap after Sebastien Bassong's flailing arm in the first half of Saturday's 1-1 draw with the Magpies left the Potters striker needing a dozen stitches in a nasty head wound.

The 31-year-old marksman was patched up 'Terry Butcher' style and played on, but the iconic bandaging failed to inspire and Beattie was withdrawn in the second half when the forward's discomfort was clearly affecting his game.

But Pulis has backed his goal-machine to be fighting fit ahead of a crucial relegation six-pointer against Rovers on Saturday.

Fading

"The blood was dripping into his eye and it was obviously becoming difficult for him," Pulis told the Sentinel.

"I thought he did well for 10 or 15 minutes after the incident, but then I thought he started to fade a bit and it was right to bring him off.

"He's had 12 stitches in the wound, so it's quite a big one, but at the moment I would say he should be okay for Blackburn on Saturday.

"It's definitely one he'll want to play in because they're his first club."

Beattie was furious with Toon defender Bassong after his arm struck him on the forehead, but Pulis added: "I honestly haven't seen it properly again since."