Scharner still struggling

Baggies midfielder yet to shake off rib complaint

Paul Scharner: Still nursing the rib injury he picked up in derby victory over Wolves

Chris Brunt: Expected to return to full training before the end of the week

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Paul Scharner could be forced to sit out West Brom's home date with Sunderland on Saturday as he is still nursing a rib injury.

The Austria international picked up the knock during the Baggies' derby victory over Wolves in their last Premier League outing.

With the club having enjoyed a free weekend as FA Cup action took centre stage, Scharner has been given an extended break in which to work on his fitness.

He is struggling to shake off the problem, though, and is yet to return to full training.

Baggies boss Roy Hodgson admits Scharner must be considered doubtful to face Sunderland, but has revealed that Shane Long will come back into contention after suffering with a chest complaint.

"Paul Scharner's still recovering with the rib problem from the Wolves game," Hodgson told the club's official website.

Painful

"Ribs are difficult things. It's painful but he's getting better. How long it'll take I don't know.

"But Shane Long is okay."

Hodgson is also set to welcome club captain Chris Brunt back into his plans before the end of the week, with the midfielder having recovered from the ankle injury which has kept him sidelined since New Year's Day.

"Chris Brunt should be back later this week," he added. "When he comes back to training we will see.

"He has been out for quite a while so it would be foolish to put a date or time on it, but hopefully we can get him back towards the end of the week with the squad and we can see how it goes during training next week."