GEORGE Thorne has set his sights on returning to action in Thursday’s Barclays U21 Premier League clash at Arsenal (ko 7pm).
The 20-year-old has been out of action since suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage at Everton in January.
The midfielder had impressed for the Baggies in the absence of Claudio Yacob and Youssouf Mulumbu prior to the season-ending injury.
And Thorne, who believes he could be available for the League Cup third-round tie with the Gunners later this month, is keen to be back in the first-team fold.
“I’ve been back in full training for two weeks or so and it gets easier each day,” said Thorne.
“It’s good to be back.
“It feels good and for the first couple of days it felt a bit weird.
“You lose your instincts and I was overthinking everything.
“I’m back into my rhythm and I feel alright now.
“It’s just a matter of getting more sessions in and getting the fitness back up.
“I’m about two weeks away from being in contention for a place in a squad.
“The plan is for me to play a game or two in the under-21s.
“There’s a game against Arsenal next week and I could play 45 minutes or an hour in that.
“The cup game is a possibility but I’ll have to sit down with the manager and discuss it.
“It depends what he wants to do in terms of his squad.
“He’s made it very clear he wants to push for a cup this season.
“We’ll have a sit down and have a think about it after I’ve played the under-21s game next week.
“We’ll take things one game at a time.”
Thorne admits the last eight months have hugely frustrating – but insists, he will not rush back into action.
“It was difficult when the lads came back in and the season started to approach.
“But it’s been good since I got back into training and it’s been happy days since.
“I’m still catching up a little bit.
“That’s the way these injuries are and you have to deal with that.
“It gets very frustrating – especially this side of pre-season when the other lads are all playing.
“I am eager to get fit and get back playing.
“At the same time I’m smart enough to know that I need to get myself right.
“That’s the most important thing.”