CRAIG Dawson is backing himself to return before Christmas after suffering the first serious injury blow of his Albion career.
'Daws' has been ruled out for up to eight weeks after suffering a serious thigh muscle bleed and torn knee capsule in the closing stages of the Premier League clash at Southampton earlier this month.
It has brought the first serious disruption to Craig’s ever-present Premier League record since he established himself as a firm first-team regular three years ago.
But, having paid the price for a full-tilt collision with team-mate Allan Nyom, it is a setback the defender has taken in his stride.
“The good news is that as things stand I will not need any surgery,” says Craig.
“I think that’s something every player is relieved to hear when they suffer an injury.
“There was a lot of swelling because of the bleeding from the thigh but it is settling down and now it is really just a case of rest.
“The ‘Doc’ has told me eight weeks but I am hoping I can maybe shave some time off that - although I realise the dangers of rushing a recovery.
“But the Christmas programme is really busy as everyone knows and it would be great to be back in contention at that point.”