Baggies face Hull at the KC Stadium on Saturday (3pm ko)
JAMES Morrison and Sebastien Pocognoli are both in the frame for a first-team return at Hull – but Albion captain Chris Brunt is out.
The Northern Ireland international is recovering from a hamstring injury sustained in this week’s West Ham clash and will not be ready in time for the weekend fixture at the KC Stadium.
Brunt will now focus on being fit for the derby against Villa a week on Saturday, but fellow midfielder Morrison and left-back Pocognoli will be available to extend head coach Alan Irvine’s options.
“Both of those players are now back in training and available for selection,” said Irvine who was without Pocognoli for the Hammers clash but has missed Morrison since last month’s international break.
Albion go to Hull for what the head coach accepts will be a tense and tough affair between two clubs fighting to get up the table.
The Baggies are desperate to put an end to a four-match losing run – the same sequence Hull were holding until they grabbed a point in a 1-1 draw against Everton at Goodison Park this week, a match watched by Irvine.
Other fresh faces in contention include summer arrivals Silvestre Varela and Brown Ideye, who have been held back by fitness concerns.
Varela’s near half-hour appearance as a substitute on Tuesday represented his Premier League blooding and Irvine was encouraged by his form while remaining watchful of his fitness.
“He did really well when he came on,” said Irvine. “This has been a frustrating period for him and frustrating for us. We’ve waited a long time to be able to get him involved.
“Funnily enough, the last time was in the Capital One Cup tie against Hull when he came on and made a winning goal for us.
"He again showed us what he is able to do against West Ham but we have got to make sure he can cope with the intensity of the football he needs to produce.”