Winger edging closer to first-team return
SILVESTRE Varela is being lined up to take part in a behind-closed-doors friendly next week.
Baggies head coach Alan Irvine is keen for the winger to step up his rehabilitation following a recent groin operation.
Varela, on loan from Porto, has played just 15 minutes of football for Albion this season, coming on for the final throes of the Capital One Cup victory against Hull.
“He’s going to need some playing time and we’re looking at arranging something behind closed doors next week just to give players who will be here a top-up and Silvestre will be one of them," said Irvine.
“There’s no way he will be right for the Newcastle game but we will look at the international break as an opportunity to get some work into the likes of Silvestre, Sami (Georgios Samaras), who has not been able to do some extra work in
prior international breaks because he’s been away with Greece and a few of them, who we will look to top up."
Irvine has a clean bill of health, with Jonas Olsson also back in training following his recent Achilles' troubles.
“Absolutely everybody trained yesterday including Jonas, who had been the last one, so we’re really pleased about that," added Irvine.
“I don’t know if it’s happened before, where we’ve had every single player out there, so the good news is there’s no news.
“Sebastien Pocognoli cramped up at the end up Saturday when we were throwing ourselves in front of everything but he’s fine.
“As for Jonas, he’s only just come back so he’s definitely not available for Sunday.
“We need to monitor him over the next two training sessions to see how he is.”