Club News

Fitness update on Baggies quartet

ALBION are confident of starting the season with a “full complement” despite a late flurry of injury worries aggravated by international duties.

Gareth McAuley, James Morrison, Hal Robson-Kanu and Matty Phillips all had their international action curtailed because of a range of fitness issues.

All four are now enjoying well-earned holidays but Director of Performance Mark Gillett has been in contact and is optimistic his award-winning sports science team can deliver to Head Coach Tony Pulis a fully-fit quartet for opening day.

"I think that is a reasonable target for us and one we should be confident reaching," says 'The Doc.'

"There may be a requirement for some careful management throughout the pre-season schedule but there is nothing to prevent us thinking all four will be 'good to go' on August 12."

The most worrying bulletin for Baggies fans would have been reports of James Morrison suffering a medial knee ligament injury which he carried through the first half of the Scotland-England game before withdrawing.

But Gillett said: "It's nothing too serious to worry about.

"We fully expect him to do things in Austria and we will manage his pre-season after that.

"We would expect him to be fit for the start of the season."

McAuley finished his club season sidelined by a thigh problem which then reared up again on duty for Northern Ireland in Azerbaijan while Robson-Kanu pulled out of Welsh duty with a "minor knee injury".

Phillips, meanwhile, couldn't keep a date with Scotland because of hamstring problems which sabotaged the final third of his Albion season.

"We took a decision with Matty at the end of the season that we would focus on him being fully ready for this pre-season," said Gillett.

"The other issues are not serious and the rest the players are enjoying now will do them the power of good."

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