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Sunday 21 January 2018

West Brom boss relieved that ‘patriotic’ striker Long only out for six weeks

ROY Hodgson has admitted his relief at West Brom striker Shane Long only being sidelined for six weeks after fearing a much longer lay-off.

Long suffered a knee injury in a challenge from Aston Villa's Alan Hutton during Saturday's derby, a tackle Hodgson claimed merited a red card.

But he could be back in action by the early part of December although that will still rule him out of the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 play-off with Estonia.

Hodgson said: "I was a bit relieved although six weeks is still a lot. It means he will still possibly miss six games.

"You don't take the situation lightly - but we know it could have been a lot worse.

"The ideal scenario would have been no injury at all but, if there has got to be one, at least it's not a serious break or ligament damage."

Hodgson said Albion had "no plans at the moment" to recall striker Chris Wood from his loan spell at Birmingham after Long's setback.

The West Brom chief is hoping another Albion striker, Simon Cox, can help Ireland overcome Long's absence.

He said: "It is a blow for them and a big blow to Shane who is a very patriotic Irishman who was looking forward to helping his country get to the European finals.

"But it looks like they can fill the gap and maybe Simon Cox can help them."

Albion midfielder Graham Dorrans is expected to return to training tomorrow after missing the Villa game with a knee injury.

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