Varela, Ideye and Anichebe to miss Liverpool trip
ALAN Irvine has admitted there is an outside chance Silvestre Varela might need minor hernia surgery.
The 29-year-old on-loan winger will miss Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Liverpool, with Albion medics liaising with Varela’s parent club FC Porto over the best course of treatment.
Varela has struggled with the groin problem in the past, with Irvine conceding the Portugal international might require an operation to correct the issue.
The Albion head coach revealed that Brown Ideye (ankle) and Victor Anichebe (groin) would also miss the Anfield fixture, but Irvine has an otherwise fully-fit squad to choose from.
“Silvestre Varela, Brown Ideye and Victor Anichebe won’t be available,” Irvine said.
“Everybody else trained and will be fine.
“Brown has an ankle problem, he’s just not quite ready yet. He’s not at the stage where he’s running at a certain level and we can’t get him to top speed. So he’s not been able to join us in training.
“We just feel it will be too difficult to make it for this weekend but we certainly feel he’ll be ready for the Manchester United game.
“Victor was training but I said then we would see what kind of reaction to that problem he has, and unfortunately he had a bit of a reaction but this game will come a bit too soon. I anticipate we will get a lot of work done with him during this international break and he will also be available for selection for the Manchester United game.
“Unfortunately Silvestre has a groin problem which we are assessing at the moment. We’re talking with Porto about that and it’s difficult for me to say where he is at the moment, but he’s further away than Victor or Brown.
“We’re speaking with Porto because he’s their player. It’s common courtesy to talk to the parent club. We certainly can’t do anything that’s too invasive in terms of assessing him without their permission.
“We’re at that stage at the moment where we’re not too sure whether he needs a small operation or not. We’re assessing that and the first step in that process is to see how they (FC Porto) feel about it and get background information from them.”
Irvine continued: “This isn’t a new problem - it’s something he had before and something he was managing when he was at Porto. The medical team are talking and there is an outside chance they might want him back but it’s likely he’ll stay here and for us to do our work here. That’s something we will come to an agreement with them about.
“We were aware when we did a medical that he’d had a groin problem in the past but it’s not uncommon to hear about players having hernia operations and issues. He’s had some problems before but when you do a medical of a player of that age, who has played that many games then the chances of it being clear are very, very slim.
“Everyone is carrying something or has a weakness somewhere – groins, knees, ankles, hips. You can’t play that many games without having some kind of issue. Unfortunately he’s had a small problem there. It’s nothing major but something we need to investigate.”