STEVEN Reid hopes to return to first-team football this weekend after featuring in yesterday’s Under-21s victory over Norwich at the club’s training ground.
The former Ireland international ended his two-month lay-off due to a hamstring problem with a 69-minute display in Albion’s 4-0 win over the Canaries.
The 31-year-old came through the clash unscathed and now has his sights firmly set on Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Chelsea at The Hawthorns (ko 3pm).
“There’s no problem with the hamstring and I feel better for playing,” said Reid.
“It’s important that everything is bang on and I’m pleased I’m now where I need to be in terms of my hamstring.
“I had a good couple of weeks work before yesterday and this is like the last stage of rehab.
“I’m ready to get back involved now and hopefully, with the gaffer watching on, I did enough to get myself back into the squad.
“It feels good now and I’m pleased I got some playing time under my belt."
Reid got more than the planned hour under his belt and joked afterwards he considered throwing his toys out the pram when he realised he was to be substituted with 21 minutes remaining.
“I didn’t want to come off and I was thinking of tearing my shirt off and storming into the building!” he quipped.
“Being serious, my first aim was to get half of the game under my belt, then it was to get to an hour, so to play 69 minutes is a good bit of work in the bank, to hopefully be involved on Saturday.
The Baggies right-back has missed eight Barclays Premier League fixtures due to injury and insists, though it has been a frustrating period, it is important not to rush back.
“Sometimes you can underestimate a hamstring, whereas with other injuries, you can get away with them,” Reid added.
“But with a hamstring, if it’s not completely right you have to be careful.
“At times you think you’re never going to get there – obviously you are and it’s just going to take time - but you’re just wondering when you’re going to be back playing.
“It’s felt like a long time and it’s probably felt like even longer for the missus!
“To be involved in the first few games, where we got some great results, and then to be injured really hurt me.
“I haven’t been the nicest person to be around but hopefully I’ll be a lot happier now.
“But at the same time I've had a great few weeks as I’ve been off to Moulton College where I tried loads of different treatments which got me away from the training ground.
“Me and Brunty went over and we had a few days of intense rehab.
“They’ve just built The Chris Moody Centre there and they’ve got a cryo chamber where it’s -140 degrees.
“They’ve got water therapy pools and a 30-metre pool so we were starting at 9.30am and working through until 5.30pm.
“That couple of days there, with the medical team that we have behind us, got us where we need to be.”