Baggies favourite glad to get his feet back on the ground
CHRIS Brunt is one step closer to a full recovery after getting his feet "back on the grass" at Albion's training ground.
While his team mates are either holidaying or preparing for Euro 2016 and Copa America action, Brunt's summer has been dominated by the rehab schedule mapped out following his anterior cruciate ligament injury.
That cruelly deprived Brunty a place at the Euros with Northern Ireland and left him a lonely figure as he fights to regain fitness for the 2016/17 campaign.
And he has at least enjoyed getting outside and in the fresh air this week after finally leaving behind the constant slog of gym work.
"It's going good and all to plan as far as I know talking to the medical staff," says Brunt.
"Hopefully I can crack on over the next couple of months and do things more active. I've been in the gym doing strengthening work but it's nice to get outside in the fresh air and start running again.
"It's about getting your body used to different movements and will take a while to get up to speed but I'm so looking forward to getting out of the gym."
Has he thought about comeback dates or targets?
"Difficult to say. You go on what you're told by the medical staff but I won't be too far off the start of the season. I hope to be doing bits and pieces of training in August. Everything has been strength based until now but it gets different when you start moving and turning and striking the ball of course."
Albion's popular long-serving star earned the synmpathy of football when he suffered the injury against Crystal Palace at the end of February.
He's fought off most of his demons but, as he prepares to fly out to France to mix punditry with his presence in the Northern Ireland camp, there are still moments.
"It's been okay over the last few months," he added.
"April and May were grand but when the lads (Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley) were going to meet up with the rest of the squad, the chat on social media and then watching the friendly against Belarus . . . it was difficult not being a part of it.
"It's one of those things and there's not much you can do about it. I'm just looking forward to the new season and getting fit for Albion again."