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West Brom hopeful of pre-World Cup Daryl Dike return

Albion are hoping injured striker Daryl Dike can make his return before November's break for the World Cup.

Daryl Dike (Photo by Malcolm Couzens - WBA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Daryl Dike (Photo by Malcolm Couzens - WBA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The United States international frontman injured his thigh on the eve of Albion's first home game at the start of August.

Boss Steve Bruce confirmed at the time the 22-year-old will spend 'at least a couple of months' on the sidelines. The Championship pauses for a month after fixtures on November 12 and the manager hopes Dike's return prior to that break is a realistic aim.

It is the striker's second major injury setback since he arrived at The Hawthorns for £7million in January following a hamstring tear that ruined his chances of featuring in the second half of last season.

"No, unfortunately," said Bruce when asked if the striker could make a return immediately after the current international break.

"There's still a way to go, still a process."

Bruce added of Dike's availability prior to the World Cup: "Possibly. That's about eight weeks (from now). Maybe, that's a more realistic target.

"And Semi (Ajayi) the same, he's had the operation and is still is a boot."

The powerful striker has big World Cup aspirations with the United States – who will play England in group stage action – but the blow has dented his prospects.

Dike's injury has been a major setback for Bruce and Albion, who entered the first international break of this season out of the drop zone only on goal difference, down in 21st in the Championship.

It heaped responsibility on Karlan Grant to be the Baggies' chief source of goals. The 25-year-old has managed four in 12 games but with little competition for the role has found it tough on occasion.

Bruce admitted Dike's injury would force him into the transfer window for cover and that came with the £300,000 signing of Salford City's Brandon Thomas-Asante, who made the step up two divisions.

Thomas-Asante became an instant hit with two goals in his first two substitute appearances and did well on a first start at Norwich on Saturday.

Albion decided to address other departments on deadline day, and after midfield loans fell through, have made free transfer moves for midfielder Tom Rogic and defender Erik Pieters.

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