McLeish eyes Benitez return

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish hopes to have striker Christian Benitez back in action sooner rather than later.

The 23-year-old Ecuador international missed the 2-0 defeat at West Ham United due to an ankle problem, as McLeish was forced to make a change to his starting line-up for the first time in 13 games.

"Christian is limping a wee bit, although the ankle injury is not serious," McLeish told the Birmingham Mail.

"The doctor thinks that, with a push, he could have been knocking on the door for this game, but he's not going to quite make it.

"It's not serious, but sometimes these things can improve pretty quickly, then you hit a hiatus with it and it tends to drag on for a couple of weeks.

"Let's hope that the doctor's diagnosis is right and he is back sooner rather than later."

Meanwhile, McLeish defended his decision to make a further two changes for the trip to Upton Park, adding:"When you've got 18 players that on any given day are all capable of contributing then it make sense to use them.

"It doesn't mean that if I had stuck with the same players then we would have won the game, there's no evidence of that."

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