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Stephen Ireland at Stoke for medical

Reports place Stephen Ireland up at Stoke for a medical, in preparation for a loan move to the Potters. Quite frankly, we're still reeling from the fact Ireland is alive.

Scott Heavey

Sky Sports is reporting -- and apparently actual eyewitnesses have seen the same -- that Stephen Ireland has rolled up at Stoke City for a medical. Hazzah! Considering Ireland hasn't played since the League Cup match against Bradford City, held on January 22 2012, it seems highly unlikely he could've hurt something. Then again, his muscles could very well have atrophied, since it's doubtful Ireland is the type to go for a brisk hike or take his bike along the canals.

So cross fingers, everyone, that Ireland comes through this without them spotting an irregular birthmark or a missing right foot. Sure, Aston Villa would still own the midfielder, but, in theory at least, the club wouldn't be paying all of his excessive wage bill. Nope, that's for Stoke to take on. However, just how Mark Hughes convinced the club that securing Ireland, even on loan, would be a smart plan...well, that will likely forever remain a mystery.