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Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Reid closes on Baggies return

David Instone

Steven Reid is hoping to gatecrash West Brom's cock-a-hoop squad by staking a claim for inclusion in Saturday's home game against Chelsea.

• Blog: Clarke continues to get it right

The former Republic of Ireland international has been sidelined by a hamstring injury for two-and-a-half months but has taken a big step on the recovery trail by playing three-quarters of an Under-21 game away to Norwich.

The 31-year-old last figured in the victory over Everton at the start of September but hopes his successful return to action has put him in contention for a fixture Albion won last season to bring the Andre Villas-Boas era at Stamford Bridge to a shuddering end.

"There's no problem with the hamstring and I feel better for playing," said Reid. "I had a good couple of weeks work before playing and this is like the last stage of rehab.

"I'm ready to get back involved now and, hopefully, with the gaffer watching, I did enough to get myself back into the squad. It feels good now and I'm pleased I got some playing time under my belt."

Reid has emerged as a key figure in Albion's right-back role and, having also played in the side who beat Liverpool 3-0 and then drew at Tottenham in August, is relishing the chance to rejoin one of the Premier League's success stories of this season.

He has been absent eight League games and admits it has not been easy missing out on the club's impressive progress under head coach Steve Clarke.

"At times, you think you're never going to get there," Reid said. "You're just wondering when you're going to be back playing. It has felt like a long time. To be involved in the first few games, where we got some great results, and then be injured really hurt me."

Clarke will spend the next few days hoping no fewer than nine of his players return safely from international duty.

Weekend goalscorer James Morrison has already withdrawn from the Scottish squad in order to rest a groin problem and Youssouf Mulumbu is a doubt for the DR Congo against Burkina Faso.

Boaz Myhill, the stand-in for currently sidelined goalkeeper Ben Foster, has only a training camp to attend with Wales but Chris Brunt and Gareth McAuley (Northern Ireland), Jonas Olsson (Sweden), Shane Long Ireland), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium), Peter Odemwingie (Nigeria) and Gonzalo Jara Reyes (Chile) are all preparing for games.

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