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Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Friday, 19 December 2008

Lawrence is not ready yet - Pulis

Liam Lawrence
Lawrence joined Stoke from Sunderland in January 2007

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has said midfielder Liam Lawrence is not yet fit enough to return from an ankle injury.

Lawrence has been out of action since tripping over his pet Labrador in September but had earlier claimed he was fit enough to return to action.

Pulis told BBC Radio Stoke: "He hasn't had a day training with the team so all this about him being fit is beyond me.

"In his mind he's ready, so fair play to him for being honest. He's not as clever as most, but he is honest."

Lawrence has been out action since Stoke's 2-0 defeat against Chelsea on 27 September.

The 27-year-old required an operation to repair the damage sustained to his ankle in the fall at his home.

Earlier this week, he told the Stoke City website: "I am back now and hopefully I can get involved in the game with Blackburn on Saturday.

"It has been a long time in coming but I feel I am ready to get my season back on track and play a role in keeping Stoke in the Premier League."

However Pulis clearly has other ideas.

"Liam will need to do more work on the training ground," said Pulis.

"He needs to be involved with the players before he can be involved in matches."

Lawrence was City's joint-top scorer and player of the year last season.

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