Stoke City assistant manager Mark Bowen says Jack Butland is hoping to be back to full fitness quicker than first thought.

Bowen provides Butland update

Bowen provides Butland update

Goalkeeper Butland, who missed almost the entirety of last season due to an ankle injury, has been in impressive form for Stoke throughout the current campaign, featuring in all 11 Premier League matches.

The 24-year-old was included in England's squad for the friendlies against Germany and Brazil with many expecting manager Gareth Southgate to give the shot-stopper the nod in between the sticks.

However, the injury curse struck again with the Bristol-born star breaking a finger whilst on international duty and initial reports suggested he could be out of action for around six weeks.

But, when speaking to Butland, Bowen revealed the keeper is in an upbeat mood and he expects to recover from the problem sooner than expected.

"I actually spoke to Jack earlier today and he says that the break is almost identical to one that Asmir Begovic sustained a couple of years ago when he was here," he said.

"He seems to think the time limit, at the very worst, will be around six weeks, but if it manages to knit itself together like we are all hoping it will, then he could be back before then - possibly in around three or four weeks."