James Morrison's return for West Brom pushed back to Christmas following treatment in Portugal
James Morrison's return to action has been pushed back to Christmas after the Baggies midfielder underwent surgery on his Achilles in Portugal.
Head coach Tony Pulis had initially hoped the 31-year-old would be available for this weekend's match with Chelsea.
But Albion decided the international break provided the best opportunity to send Morrison to see a specialist on the injury in his right heel.
The long-serving midfielder is back in the country now, and has responded well to the Achilles procedure done by a Dutch surgeon in Portugal last Thursday. It comes after he saw the same specialist in Holland three weeks ago.
It is now hoped the Scotland international will be available for the trip to Stoke City on Saturday, December 23.
Director of performance Mark Gillett said: "We wanted to give it a couple of weeks to see if it would settle.
“Though he made some progress we thought the time was right to get him ready for the Christmas period.
“His Achilles has been grumbling and the international break provided us with the opportunity to address the issue.
“The procedure was done by a Dutch surgeon in Portugal last Thursday and we are pleased with the results.
“James will now be working hard to ensure he is back to full fitness as soon as possible.”
Morrison has endured a frustrating start to the season and has only featured in four league games so far.
He missed the first two matches of the season with a knee injury picked up on international duty over the summer and hasn't played since September because of his current heel problem.
Pulis is keen to get the attacking midfielder back in his team because he offers a unique skill-set to the side.
“Morrison is a good player in that pocket behind,” said Albion's head coach recently. “What Morrison does well is joins in and makes you strong but when you get the ball he can get up there and make you a goal.”
Craig Dawson is the only other player sidelined at the moment and is also due to return around Christmas after suffering a knee injury during a collision with team-mate Allan Nyom in the defeat to Southampton.