Phillips back in frame for Baggies

Albion have received a boost with the news Matt Phillips will be in contention to take on Preston North End at The Hawthorns this Saturday (ko 3pm).

The attacking midfielder has featured just three times since New Year’s Day due to a troublesome ankle injury. 

But there has been a positive update from first-team coach Jimmy Shan, who was further boosted by the comeback of left-back Kieran Gibbs as he returned to the pitch after injury midway through the second-half of Tuesday night's defeat at Bristol City.

And Shan is hopeful both players will be available for Albion’s latest Sky Bet Championship test against North End.

“We’re looking quite good,” said Jimmy. “Matty didn’t travel with the team on Tuesday but stayed behind and trained with a small group that wasn’t involved in our matchday squad, mixed in with some under-23s.

“He’ll train today (Thursday) and tomorrow and be in contention.

“Obviously Kieran got on the pitch and we got a good 20/25 minutes out of him, which is valuable for him moving forward.”

Shan also gave an update on the fitness James Morrison and Gareth Barry ahead of Preston’s visit to B71.

“Gareth had a sickness bug a couple of days ago, and has had some soreness around his knee.

“They had the day off yesterday and I’ll need a medical update to see exactly where he is.

“Mozza has been back on the grass. He was probably a seven to 10 day injury with a grade one hamstring.

“I saw him running on Monday, and Mozza will more than likely return to training early next week.”

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