Morrison doubt for first game

Di Matteo admits star player may miss big game

Morrison: doubt for Newcastle game

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West Bromwich Albion boss Roberto Di Matteo has admitted that James Morrison is struggling to be fit for the start of the season.

A heel injury kept the £1.5m signing out of the final five games of last season and a minor operation to clear up the problem has so far seen him miss pre-season training.

The big kick-off against Newcastle at The Hawthorns is only twelve days away and Di Matteo fears the game might come too soon for the Scottish international.

He told the clubs official website: "It's too early to say for definite whether he'll be ready for the Newcastle game but two weeks is probably a bit too short a time span to get a pre-season under his belt.

"James can hopefully start his pre season this week.

"He's very frustrated and disappointed because all players want to start the new campaign from the first day of pre-season, getting a whole pre-season under his belt.

"That's very important for the season ahead. But James will be back. It's just a matter of time.

However, the Baggies did receive a boost on Saturday when Graham Dorrans got his first pre-season run out at Walsall following a foot injury, Simon Cox returned from a two game absence following an ankle injury and Abdoulaye Meite made his comeback from illness as a second-half sub.

Di Matteo said: "They didn't figure on Wednesday and are a bit behind the curve compared to the rest of the players but we still have two weeks until the start of the season so they'll hopefully be okay by then."

He also revealed the club are doing their best behind the scenes to bring some new faces into the squad.

He said: "I'm sure there are going to be some movements, but I can't go into details right now."

He also revealed that might not have been the case had everybody been fit although Jonathan Greening is expected to leave before the transfer window closes.

"Numbers wise, if everybody was fit, we would be fine. But we have a few long term injuries so it's important we get numbers in until they're fit," added Di Matteo.