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Double boost for Baggies

PUBLISHED

16:05 24th September 2013

But Gera, Thorne and Vydra must wait

ALBION have been boosted by the return to fitness of Shane Long and Steven Reid ahead of tomorrow’s Capital One Cup clash with Arsenal (ko 8pm).

Both are available for selection against the Gunners, while Chris Brunt could also be in contention as he bids to shake off the groin problem that saw him miss Saturday’s 3-0 win over Sunderland.

Long has overcome the knee problem that has seen him miss the last two games and Reid is in line for his first appearance of the campaign, having been sidelined with a calf injury since pre-season.

But the third-round tie has come too soon for Zoltan Gera and George Thorne (both knee), and Matej Vydra (hamstring), who are now all targeting returns to first-team action over the next fortnight.

“Shane is going to be pushing for a start either tomorrow or Saturday,” said joint-assistant head coach Kevin Keen.

“Chris is a possibility.

“Steven is fit and available for selection.

“Zoltan Gera and George Thorne are very, very close to hopefully being able to take part in first-team games.

“Zolly got a slight injury in training last week that has put him back about a week otherwise he would have been in and around it tomorrow.

“I would think another ten to 14 days and George is going to be very close.

“Matej Vydra is not far off as well.

“Within a week or so that big strong squad that we've got could get even stronger.”

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