Stoke City boss Alex Neil discusses future of former Barnsley FC loanee Tom Edwards

FORMER Barnsley loanee Tom Edwards is set to be handed a chance to impress at parent club Stoke City when he returns from a knee injury, boss Alex Neil has confirmed.

Edwards headed back to Staffordshire in January after injuring a knee ligament while on Reds duty.

There was a chance that the defender – who performed well in his time at Oakwell – could return before the end of the season and potentially be available for any play-off games, but Barnsley head coach Michael Duff elected to end Edwards' season-long loan early, while not ruling out a summer move for the Stoke City defender.

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Duff added: "I'd like him. But he's at a Championship club who've had a change of manager since he's been here, so he might see that as an opportunity to get back in the Stoke team.

Tom Edwards. Picture courtesy of Barnsley FC.Tom Edwards. Picture courtesy of Barnsley FC.
Tom Edwards. Picture courtesy of Barnsley FC.

"He was great for us and did really well and was great in the group. It was unfortunate and the ruthless side of football in there being an opportunity to break the contract based on clauses.

"Tom totally understood the finances and things like that as he'll probably be out to the end of March to early April. Financially, we'd have to keep paying him for a long time."

Edwards is now working on his rehabilitation at Stoke with the player making good progress according to his manager. He could be available again by mid-April.

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Potters boss Neil, speaking to the Stoke Sentinel, said: "Tom's making progress. He's had a significant injury.

"He's been with us now since January. he's been doing his rehab and he's making good progress.

"He's a Stoke player ,so he'll have an opportunity to train with the squad and then obviously how he does will determine the next step in terms of how we see him and he deserves to be in the squad. It's down to him."