Express & Star

James Morrison and Nacer Chadli not returning until after international break

James Morrison and Nacer Chadli are both facing a race to be fit in time to help Albion’s slim chance of surviving.

Last updated
James Morrison. (AMA)

The injured pair were initially due to return in March, but neither playmaker is now expected to feature before the international break at the end of this month.

It’s hoped they will play a part this season, but it’s now looking increasingly likely that neither will be available before the last few games with a return in mid-April most likely.

That could prove too late for Albion, who are already seven points from safety and will be relegated around that time if results don’t improve.

Chadli and Morrison both continue to undergo recovery, but neither are training with the main squad yet.

It’s believed that Chadli, who has played just 16 minutes since October after suffering a a recurrence of his thigh injury, is nearer to returning than Morrison, who has struggled to shake off an Achilles problem that has sidelined him since September.

Daniel Sturridge, however, is progressing well and is still targeting a return to action this month.

He’s been ruled out of Saturday’s trip to Watford with a hamstring problem and will then be assessed match-by-match after that.

Head coach Alan Pardew brought Sturridge in on loan from Liverpool in January to score the goals that would keep Albion up.

But the 28-year-old fell injured just three minutes into his second start for the Baggies and has yet to find the net for Albion.

Morrison is out of contract this summer, and if he continues to struggle with his Achilles injury, is in danger of leaving the club without featuring again.

“Daniel will probably miss the next game (Watford) but will hopefully be available the week after,” said Pardew last week.

“With Chadli I'm not sure because it's a recurrence of an old injury, which always makes you a bit more nervous.

“We're desperate to have him back because we're running out of time so we are chasing him along.

“We are at that stage of the season where they can't have any kind of recurrence and we're hoping that when they come back, they will be OK.”