Photo: Marc Muniesa posts pic of Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross after he plays 90 minutes for first time this season

Ryan Shawcross is stepping up his recovery from back surgery.

Stoke City appear to have one of their defenders on the road to recovery, based on a photo shared by Spaniard Marc Muniesa on his official twitter account earlier today.

This is the picture in question:

It shows Muniesa and club captain Ryan Shawcross after featuring for Stoke City today in a behind-closed-doors friendly fixture against Birmingham City.

He played 90 minutes for the first time since his injury.

The Potters captain has been out of action since pre-season. He suffered a back injury against Brentford and had to undergo surgery on the problem in the summer. He has not played this season and Stoke fans are eagerly anticipating his return to first-team action.

Earlier in the month he played for the first time since undergoing surgery. He featured for 45 minutes for the Stoke under-21s in a game v local rivals Port Vale's reserves at Vale Park.

Muniesa has been out of action himself recently, dropping to the bench in recent times and not featuring in the Premier League since September.

Muniesa, who has battled niggling injuries throughout his Stoke career, is not too sorely missed but there is no doubt that Stoke miss their inspirational captain.

They will hope he is fit for next weekend.

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