West Brom are hopeful that Chris Brunt will recover from a cruciate knee ligament injury in time to start the new season in August.
The 31-year-old suffered the serious problem during last Saturday evening’s 3-2 win against Crystal Palace at the Hawthorns, with boss Tony Pulis confirming the news on Thursday afternoon after the player had gone under the knife.
The injury usually means a six-month absence which means Brunt will play no part in the remainder of the Baggies’ Premier League season and will also miss out on playing in his first major international tournament with Northern Ireland at this summer’s European Championship in France.
Pulis was left frustrated by the news of Brunt’s absence, describing his injury as “a big blow… because he is a terrific player who gives the team great balance”.
However, he was also disappointed for the player as he will miss the chance to feature at Euro 2016, having played a big part in helping Michael O’Neill’s side qualify for their first major tournament since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Looking ahead, Albion’s director of performance, Dr Mark Gillett, who heads up the club’s medical team, revealed the target now is to get Brunt back fit in time to start the 2016-17 campaign.
He told the Express & Star: “We are hopeful that Chris will be nearing the completion of his rehabilitation towards the start of next season.
“Everyone at West Bromwich Albion wishes Chris a speedy and full recovery.”