Matthew Etherington continues intense training in FA Cup fitness battle

Stoke winger Matthew Etherington is taking to the water in a bid to be fit for the FA Cup final.

Etherington has returned to the training ground as he steps up his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury.

While he will sit out the Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal on Sunday he might yet make the Wembley showdown with Manchester City a week tomorrow.

Etherington is already reaping the benefits of using the club's hydrotherapy pool with an in-built treadmill.

Assistant manager Dave Kemp said: "Matty can work flat out - it is good for his heart and lungs as well as his legs.

"He is coming into training every day and doing a bit of jogging away from the main group.

"He is coming along very nicely and feeling a bit more positive in himself. We have eight days left until the final and will have to wait and see if he will be ready."