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By ESPN Staff

Huth visits knee specialist

Stoke defender Robert Huth has flown to see a knee specialist in Spain as he battles to be fit for Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester City.

The German centre-half suffered the injury during the 3-1 victory over Arsenal two days ago and joined Matthew Etherington, who has a torn hamstring, as a major doubt for this weekend's Wembley showpiece.

Chairman Peter Coates told the Stoke Sentinel: ''I think there has been a bit of a response to the treatment but it's far too early to reach any conclusions. He has seen a specialist we have used before and have full confidence in. He will then be coming back to us - then we just have to wait and hope.

''He will be desperate to play at Wembley, like any footballer would be, and it will be a terrible shame if he does miss out. It's going to be a very difficult judgment to make about whether he plays - for the player, the medical staff and, ultimately, (manager) Tony Pulis.''

The injuries to Huth and Etherington have compounded the blow of losing Danny Higginbotham and Ricardo Fuller, who have already been ruled out for the rest of the season with knee and Achilles problems respectively.

Coates added: ''It is a credit to everybody at the football club that we had kept everybody so fit this season but then at a crucial stage of the season we've now had all these setbacks.

''We are disappointed but most of all we are disappointed for the players themselves because it is such a huge event to play in a cup final at Wembley.''


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