Morrison not far behind Evans, McManaman and Dawson
ALBION fans may be missing their football fix this weekend – but for the Club’s medical team it is a welcome respite from the Premier League battlefield.
And the good news for the Baggies camp is that Callum McManaman, Jonny Evans and Craig Dawson should all be in contention for the Norwich game when we return to action on March 19.
Dr Mark Gillett, Albion’s Director of Performance who heads up the Club’s medical staff, is optimistic the other long-term casualty, James Morrison, won’t be too far behind giving Head Coach Tony Pulis the chance to finish the season with a much fuller range of first-team options.
McManaman has been out since the end of January with an ankle problem which required surgery while Evans pulled a hamstring in the final moments of Albion’s FA Cup exit at Reading.
Dawson had to leave the victory over Manchester United because of a foot injury but he, too, is now making progress.
“We are optimistic all three will be in contention by the time the Norwich game comes around,” says ‘The Doc.’
“Callum has been out the longest of this trio but he has already returned to a level of training. I am hopeful he should be able to step that up next week.
“It has been a tough period for everyone and while we handled the Christmas schedule without too many difficulties, the more recent demands because of the FA Cup replays stretched us and was very demanding.
“In that sense, you won’t find my staff complaining too loudly that we are inactive for a weekend. It has given us a little respite and some breathing space.”
Morrison suffered a ruptured hamstring tendon at Chelsea in mid-January and also underwent a surgical procedure before beginning the road back to fitness.
The next phase of his recovery is still being assessed with the player’s own enthusiasm the greatest problem.
“’Mozza’ is desperate to get out there again and of course we understand his impatience. But you have to be careful players don’t try to do too much too soon,” adds Dr Gillett.
As for Chris Brunt, the Baggies favourite is already in every day as he sets off on the long road to recovery following surgery on the ACL injury which has wrecked his European Championship finals plans with Northern Ireland.
“Chris is in good spirits – and the work starts immediately,” adds ‘Doc.’
“He’s doing a lot of work in the pool with the focus now on building up muscle and reducing the swelling.”