West Bromwich Albion have been handed a double fitness boost ahead of their upcoming Championship clash.
According to a report by Birmingham Live, Matt Clarke has taken part in full training with Valerien Ismael’s side this week, with the centre-back appearing well ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring injury, while Kean Bryan is also in contention to make his Baggies debut against Queens Park Rangers on Friday.
The former Sheffield United defender, who was signed on a free transfer in order to provide cover for the injured Dara O’Shea, played 45 minutes for the West Brom U23 side against Aston Villa last Friday and looks to be getting close to full fitness.
While it remains unclear whether Clarke will be deemed fit enough to play a role in Friday’s game, the defender’s rapid recovery from injury, coupled with the likely availability of Bryan for the QPR fixture, is sure to have left Ismael buzzing.
Indeed, Clarke had impressed over his three Championship appearances for the Baggies following his loan switch from Brighton & Hove Albion, making an average of 2.3 interceptions, one tackle, 2.7 clearances and winning 7.3 duels per game.
However, should Clarke not be fit enough to feature against Mark Warburton’s side, the left-footed Bryan could nevertheless allow Ismael to provide his back-three with a great deal more balance – something that, considering their recent run of poor form, it seems the Frenchman has desperately lacked.
As such, the news that both Bryan and Clarke appear to be nearing a return to first team action is undoubtedly a major boost for Albion, as the club will certainly be looking to get their promotion push back on track against an impressive looking QPR side on Friday.