Kyle Bartley suffers further setback in West Brom injury recovery
Albion defender Kyle Bartley is unlikely to play again until after the international break at the end of next month following a further setback on a troublesome quad injury.
The centre-back has not played since November 12, the final fixture before the World Cup break, and initially picked up the muscle problem during Albion's camp in Spain.
The 31-year-old has been near a return on a couple of occasions but, having joined in with full team training, felt pain and a latest scan revealed a further issue.
Boss Carlos Corberan takes his team into a Hawthorns clash against play-off rivals Blackburn tomorrow and also has attacking midfielder Tom Rogic in the treatment room, due to minor hamstring injury.
The head coach admitted Bartley is frustrated by the lengthy setback as the experienced defender wants to be contributing for Albion. A fine run of form around Corberan's appointment led to the former Arsenal youngster triggering a 12-month extension in his Baggies contract, until 2024.
"He has had a setback in the injury," Corberan revealed. "He had the scan and the scan didn't show the best results. He will be around five to six weeks again to manage the injury.
"Now we are going to analyse him with the specialist to see why this injury repeated again and we will try and take responsibility for every process of the injury.
"It is not a usual injury in football, and it's one that, the last time he felt it, he was training normally.
"After he felt something again, he could complete training, but after the scan showed that the muscle is not ready to perform, to make him train or it will get worse. So we need to manage the situation with him.
"It's a pity because he is suffering a lot. He's a player who has a full desire to help the team, and not only from the pitch but in the dressing room and being very positive. In the end, though, the player wants to be playing and he wants to help the team on the pitch.
"I was talking to him and he has found it a very difficult situation – especially because he had the first step of injury in Spain, during the international break. He was at one level that was helping the team a lot, he has been missing it and for the team too."
Corberan added of Bartley: "He is one of the important players at the club, a player who has made very good things here at the club.
"Of course after a difficult moment he reacted in a way that we expect from the bigger players.
"I always have pity when we lose one of the important players – even if he might not have been playing in the first XI, because (Erik) Pieters has been doing a very good job. It's about the values of the players in the team. He is a player with a lot of value in the squad."
Albion's Spanish boss explained that Australian Rogic will miss the visit of Blackburn after a tweak in his hamstring.
The head coach said Rogic's response to being left out of the matchday squad of 18 was positive and the setback came after 'pushing himself'.
"The only other player who is not going to be available in the next game is Rogic," said the boss.
"His reaction to my decision to not involve him in the previous games has been to work very hard – that's what he was doing. Every day he has been pushing himself to make extra work. Now, he has suffered a small discomfort in the hamstring. Two days ago.
"He will be the next three or four days recovering and coming back to his normal level, it's not an important injury but for now he needs to stop. I don't know about Watford (next Monday night), but I know that he is going to be out of the team the next three or four days."
Corberan, meanwhile, was coy on the huge call he faces between the sticks tomorrow night as to who starts in goal for Albion.
Goalkeeper David Button, deputising for the injured Alex Palmer, has come under fire from fans after two high-profile errors in the 2-0 defeat at Blues.
Corberan revealed he has decided his XI to face Jon Dahl Tomasson's men tomorrow but did not specify who would have the shirt. The head coach added he had held talks with Button both before and after the Blues game, after the keeper had kept a clean sheet against Coventry in his previous outing.
Corberan's other option is 21-year-old Josh Griffiths, who has been training with Albion's first-team squad since he was recalled from a loan at League One Portsmouth last month.