West Bromwich Albion have been dealt a potentially huge blow regarding the fitness of Alex Mowatt ahead of their upcoming Championship clash.
In recent comments cited by Birmingham Live, Valerien Ismael revealed that the 26-year-old will undergo a late fitness test to determine whether or not he will be able to take part in the visit of Bristol City on Saturday afternoon, after the midfielder missed out on the 2-1 defeat against Swansea City in midweek due to a recurrence of a toe injury.
Speaking about the current condition of Mowatt, the West Brom manager said: “We’ll see; we’re assessing him every day. If he has the chance to play, he will do, but we’ll see in this [Friday’s] training session.
“We don’t want to take any risks, for sure we want to have Alex, but my focus is always to get players 100 per cent fitness without any issues. This is what we’re working on with Alex.”
Meanwhile, in better news for the Baggies, the Frenchman confirmed that Grady Diangana, who has been unavailable for Albion’s last two fixtures due to a hamstring injury, looks set to make a return to the matchday squad this weekend.
On the 23-year-old’s fitness, Ismael said: “Grady is fine. If nothing happens [on Friday] he will be back in the squad.”
While the news of Diangana’s likely reintroduction to the West Brom side is good for the Baggies, the potential absence of Mowatt will undoubtedly have left Ismael gutted.
Indeed, the £6.3m-rated man has been one of Albion’s best players so far this season, having scored three goals, registered one assist and created two big chances over his 12 Championship appearances, as well as averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.19 in the league – the second-highest in the Albion squad.
Furthermore, with fellow midfielder and club captain Jake Livermore suspended for the Bristol City clash, the unavailability of Mowatt would leave Ismael without his two first-choice options in the middle of the park, something which could seriously dent West Brom’s chances of a positive result today.
With Ismael having seen his side fall to their second league defeat of the season in midweek, the Frenchman will certainly be hoping they can bounce back with a win against the Robins at The Hawthorns this afternoon. It’s a task which would be made tougher if the former Barnsley midfielder isn’t fit enough to feature.