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Ridgewell boost for Baggies

14 August 2012

And boss provides update on quartet

LIAM Ridgewell is set to return to training tomorrow (Wednesday) to keep alive Steve Clarke’s hopes of having a fully fit squad to face Liverpool on Saturday (ko 3pm).

The left-back limped off at half-time of the Baggies’ 2-0 pre-season win at Nottingham Forest on Friday with a thigh problem.

But he is making good progress and Clarke has also given positive verdicts on the fitness of Zoltan Gera, Markus Rosenberg and Chris Brunt as they play catch-up with their team-mates following time on the sidelines.

“We’re expecting Liam to join in training tomorrow,” said the Baggies boss.

“Fingers crossed he’ll be okay.

“If Chris comes through okay on Wednesday with Northern Ireland he’ll be in contention for Saturday, as they all will.

“I’ve said all along in pre-season, if we have everyone fit and available for the first game it would be a great position to be in.

“Then they’re all in contention – but they have to make the final 18.

“At the moment Markus is working really well in training and I’m hopeful all the players will be in contention for the weekend.

“Markus has trained with the group fully since he’s got here.

“What we’ve had to do is top him up at the right times.

“It’s a fine balancing act and it’s down to my fitness coach if he gets it right.”

He added: “Zoltan is in good shape physically and I think mentally the involvement he has had in the pre-season games has been really good for him.

“He’s another one who is in contention for the opening game.”

Graham Dorrans missed the trip to the City Ground due to family reasons and Clarke insists he will be guided by the player over his availability to face the Reds.

“I’ve given the boy a little bit of space and time,” he said.

“I’ll speak to him again today and find out where he is at.

“We’ll be guided by Graham and how he is.”

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