Gareth Barry has confirmed that he is ready to make his first appearance of the season when West Brom take on Sheffield Wednesday at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
Barry, 38, was released by the Baggies at the end of last season but Slaven Bilic has taken the decision to re-sign the veteran midfielder on a deal until the end of the campaign.
The former Aston Villa player has not played a senior match since March but has returned to fitness in recent weeks and even played in a behind-closed-doors fixture at Albion’s training ground on Tuesday.
Barry played just over an hour in a 4-0 win against Port Vale while Chris Brunt, Kieran Gibbs and Jonathan Bond also earned some game-time.
Bilic has a bit of a midfield selection headache going into Saturday’s match against Sheffield Wednesday with Romaine Sawyers and Jake Livermore both suspended.
However Barry has revealed that should the boss need him to play, he is more than ready.
“I feel good,” Barry said, as quoted by the Express & Star.
“We had a training game on Saturday and another game on Tuesday. I’ve come through both of those unscathed. The knee is feeling good and I’m looking forward to getting back whenever I am needed.
“There’s nothing like being out there in front of the fans and the adrenaline rushing through.
“I’ll never put myself out of a game. If the manager asked me what I was thinking in terms of Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, I’ve always put myself up for selection so it’s then down to the manager and the coaching staff to make a decision on the squad.”
Barry made 27 appearances across all competitions for West Brom last season and was widely praised by supporters for his performances in the deeper-lying midfield area.
It remains to be seen what kind of form the former England international will be in once he returns to competitive football in the Championship as he has been out of action for a long time.
However Bilic has not let down the fans yet and his judgement on Barry – and his team selection for Saturday – is hardly going to be challenged.
In other West Brom news, Albion are considering a permanent move to sign this English attacker.