By Sam Stone

29th Jul, 2022 | 11:10am

Okay Yokuslu is unlikely to be fit for West Brom Championship curtain raiser

West Brom summer addition Okay Yokuslu is unlikely to be ready for the Baggies Championship curtain-raiser against Middlesbrough.

The Express and Star reported on Thursday 28 July, that the 28-year-old midfielder will take a number of weeks to get up to speed and is unlikely to be involved at the Riverside on Saturday 30 July.

Steve Bruce has suggested that Yokuslu’s lack of pre-season has left him five to six weeks behind the rest of the squad.

Bruce said [as quoted by Express and Star]: “He’s a naturally fit boy, but these guys are now five-six games in and have been here for six weeks.

“That’s what you do pre-season for.

“He’s a bit behind, but he’s here for a long time.”

Get him fit

It is clear that Bruce cannot rush the Turkish midfielder back into action too soon, with there being a risk of injury if he isn’t up to match sharpness.

However, it is important to remember that Yokuslu was one of Bruce’s marquee summer additions and needs to be involved as much as possible in the upcoming season.

Every point counts in the Championship and the trip to Middlesbrough does look quite the baptism of fire for Bruce’s men after the North East side’s busy summer window.

Having Yokuslu available would’ve been a huge boost for the Baggies in the early stages of the season.

This is clearly the issue with signing free agents.

If a deal is concluded later on in the window for a free agent there is always a risk that they won’t be fit for the first game of the season due to their lack of adequate training.

Let’s hope the Turkish midfielder is fit and ready to go in a couple of weeks.

In other West Brom news, Chris Lepkowski had some scathing comments for Albion fans after the friendly against Hertha Berlin but then deleted his message.