West Bromwich Albion head coach Valerien Ismael has revealed that Matt Phillips is in-line for a return to match action in the next few weeks as he steps up his recovery from injury.
The 30-year-old Scotland international has appeared in 19 Championship matches for the Baggies this season, scoring three times and assisting twice.
Phillips has occasionally played through the middle as a central striker this season but has mainly featured on the right-hand side of a three man attack and has only completed 90 minutes twice over the course of the campaign.
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The last appearance that Phillips made was in the 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest last month, where he came off the bench for the final half an hour but following that a hamstring injury was picked up in training.
Having missed the last three Championship matches, Phillips is closing in on a return but it may be another week or so before he is seen, with tomorrow’s clash with Derby County definitely coming too soon for the wide player.
“I think he could be back next week in training with the squad, so it might be that after that we need one week more, to make sure that he’s in good shape,” Ismael said on West Brom’s number 10, via BirminghamLive.
“He’s on the way, but for the three games next week it won’t be possible to involve him.”
One of the matches Ismael was referring to was the December 30 clash against Preston North End, but that one has now been postponed which gives Phillips extra time to prove his fitness.
He is quite clearly still a quality player at Championship level and possesses a lot of experience and is an option in a multitude of positions.
That is why it’s important to get him back but at a sensible pace as Ismael will need him for the whole of the second half of the season because he can be a game-changing player at times.