Jake Livermore is hopeful of a first start since New Year’s Day when Brighton & Hove Albion visit The Hawthorns in Wednesday's FA Cup fourth-round replay.
The Baggies midfielder completed a four-match suspension before last weekend’s game with Middlesbrough, where he made a cameo as a second-half substitute, and is eligible to play against the Seagulls as Darren Moore’s side look to make the last-16.
And after a “needed” spell on the sidelines, Jake is keen to break back into the Albion XI to help the team through a crucial couple of months.
However, the experienced 29-year-old did reserve special praise for Academy duo Sam Field and Rekeem Harper for their performances during his enforced absence.
“Obviously, after any lay-off you have, you’re desperate to get back,” he said.
“But the positives from that is my body needed a rest anyway, I had played a lot of games this season and was putting my body through stress.
“And it’s fortunately allowed some of the young boys to come in and show what they can do, so as a squad I feel we’re stronger now.
“Sam and Rekeem have been fantastic. Sam has had a bit more air time over the past few years than Rekeem perhaps, but Rekeem’s gone in and been absolutely fantastic.
“His physical attributes and his brain for such a young kid, I’m really happy he’s had that platform to go on and show everyone what he can do.
“As desperate as I am to get back out on the field, and as disappointed as I was to be off it, I think it’s done the team the world of good.”
Livermore also spoke of his fondness for the FA Cup, and believes that a run in the competition will be good for the squad, the supporters and the Club as a whole.
He added: “As we touched on, I’m desperate to get back on the field now and help the team in any way I can.
“I’m a fan of football in any competition, so of course I’m a fan of the FA Cup.
“I had a magical run a couple of years ago when I was at Hull. It’s great for the fans, it’s great for the momentum of the club and it’s sometimes an opportunity for players to go and show what they can do.”