GARETH Barry is ready to rejoin Albion’s Sky Bet Championship promotion challenge after the international break.
The 53-capped England international made a 45-minute comeback for the Under-21s on Wednesday as they narrowly missed out on Checkatrade Trophy progress with a 2-1 defeat at Macclesfield.
But the ‘up-side’ for the Baggies was to see Barry back in action and reporting no problems with the recent calf problem which had halted his impressive contribution to Albion’s Championship campaign.
“It was good to get some game time back under my belt and there were no problems with the injury,” said Gareth.
“The result did not go our way on the night but it was good to play alongside some of the young talent we’ve got in the club.
“It’s been three weeks on the sidelines but there was a little tear in the calf and you can’t hurry these things.”
The Baggies are going to need all hands on deck as their return to action at Ipswich a week on Friday begins another gruelling Championship schedule - five games in two weeks - which will test the squad’s depth.
But the record proves Barry will be a handy figure to have back in contention - Albion haven’t lost any of the games in which he has featured - beating Bristol City, Preston and Reading when he has started.
The midfielder knows competition for places will be tough after watching the team return to top form against Leeds United.
“That was a really good performance,” Gareth added.
“We gave the tactics a tweak and that may have surprised Leeds a bit. But we executed our plans well and the boys jot the job done.”