STEVE Clarke hopes Zoltan Gera and George Thorne can spur each other on in their recoveries from anterior cruciate ligament injuries suffered in the same month.
The Baggies boss has backed 20-year-old Thorne to bounce back from his first major injury and hopes both players will return to training during pre-season.
He also admits having a senior player around to call on for advice like Gera, who has been through the process before, can only help.
“They will be able to help and push each other and hopefully have a little competition to see who gets back first,” said Clarke.
“It's a big blow for George.
“It's his first major injury and hopefully the last of his career.
“I had a chat with him and he understands it's part and parcel of football.
“It's how you respond to the injury, he is a good boy, a good professional, he is always diligent in his work, he has to be diligent now in his rehab.
“It's not a career-threatening injury and he will come back from it fit, strong and a better player.
“He had come back from Peterborough, had got into the team, was starting to show the qualities that he had.
“He has got a good future in front of him.
“It is disappointing but injuries are part and parcel of the game.
“We will give the boy every support to get back up to speed.
"Hopefully towards the end of pre-season, he will be back in training with the group.”