West Brom striker Shane Long is a major doubt for Saturday’s home clash with Swansea – but captain Chris Brunt looks set to return.
Brunt returned to training today following the ankle injury that kept him out of the 1-0 defeat at Chelsea and the Baggies expect him to be ready to face the Swans.
But Long has aggravated the ankle problem he sustained in the home win against Sunderland and looks likely to miss the weekend clash at the Hawthorns.
Boss Steve Clarke said: “Chris has trained this week so he is back. The one unfortunate thing for us is that Shane, who played last week with a bad ankle, has aggravated it through the week.
“He trained Monday and Tuesday but, unfortunately, he didn't train today, is doubtful for tomorrow and doubtful for the weekend as well, so that is a bitter loss for us.”
But Clarke hopes Long will recover in time for the trip to Stoke on March 16 and expects him to figure in Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers at the end of March.
“I’m sure he will be selected for the Ireland squad,” said Clarke. “I’m ever the optimist.
“I haven’t ruled him out for the weekend but he is on the doubtful side.
“I’m sure the Irish will pick him for the squad and hopefully he will be involved next weekend at Stoke.”
Romelu Lukaku is back at the weekend after being ineligible to face Chelsea and Goran Popov is available after suspension.