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Downing hopeful on Long

PUBLISHED

07:30 27th February 2013

And Keith offers general fitness update

KEITH Downing is hopeful Shane Long will recover from an ankle injury in time to feature at Chelsea on Saturday (ko 3pm). 

The Republic of Ireland international, who has netted on each of his two starts for Albion against the West Londoners, was substituted in the 66th minute of Albion’s 2-1 victory over Sunderland shortly after suffering the knock. 

But the Baggies’ joint-assistant head coach believes the 26-year-old will be fit for the Stamford Bridge outing. 

“Shane didn't train until yesterday,” said Downing.

“We will assess him later this week but the swelling has gone down quite a bit, so we're hopeful. 

“It was the early part of the week and he didn’t train on Monday as a precaution, but he should be back to normal by Thursday and Friday. 

“It's not serious and we should be able to strap it up if necessary.”

Downing confirmed that the squad in general remains in good health.

“We had some bumps and bruises from the weekend and four or five didn't train on Monday, but we had a few back yesterday and we should be back to normal by the end of the week,” he added.

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