Sam Allardyce has revealed Dara O’Shea could be fit to play against Southampton but there is less positive news for Branislav Ivanovic, whose West Brom career may be over.
Both defenders were forced off with injury against Chelsea, picking up ankle and hamstring injuries respectively, per West Brom’s official club site.
Albion do not play again until Monday when they take on Southampton at The Hawthorns – and the extra rest days could be essential for O’Shea’s recovery, according to Big Sam.
Ivanovic is less fortunate, with his manager suggesting he will be out for a “long time”.
And since there are only six weeks left of the season Ivanovic may have played his last game for West Brom, since his contract expires at the end of the season.
Allardyce said: “Dara is looking very good for the Southampton game.
“We’ve got that extra couple of days with the game being on a Monday instead of a Saturday, which is a big help in terms of him playing.
“Branislav will be out for a long time, we think. We will have to assess it week-by-week, but certainly at the moment it looks like it’s going to be a long period.”
Good and bad news
O’Shea being fit for Southampton would be a nice boost for the squad, even though Semi Ajayi and Kyle Bartley are very strong options at centre-back.
He has been terrific in recent weeks and made big improvements under Allardyce and it would be a shame for him to lose his place due to an injury.
The situation for Ivanovic is a lot different.
The Serbia international has never proved himself for us and his 13-minute cameo against Chelsea sums up his season.
He is unlikely to be given a new deal and we back that decision.
Slaven Bilic believed he would be a big addition for us when he signed in the summer, describing him as a player who “ticks all the boxes” [Sky Sports].
However, the 37-year-old has not displayed those attributes in an Albion shirt and has started one league game under Big Sam.
Even if he does return to fitness before the end of the season it is quite likely he will not return to the pitch, so the game against Chelsea may be the last we have seen of him.
In other West Brom news, Albion are in the hunt to sign 7-goal attacker who Roberto Martinez wants to play for Belgium.