McClean knee injury not as bad as first feared

James McClean could return to action in West Brom’s pre-season friendly against Deportivo la Coruna next weekend after it was confirmed that the midfielder’s knee injury was not as severe as first anticipated.

McClean was taken off in the second half of the Baggies’ 2-1 defeat to Bristol City on Saturday, July 29, and there were fears that the Republic of Ireland international may have sustained a serious knee injury as he limped off.

However, West Brom manager Tony Pulis has since explained that the 28-year-old’s injury is not as bad as initially thought. Scans revealed that the winger sustained a bruised patella and the damage is not likely to rule him out for long.

McClean will sit out his side’s friendly game against Port Vale, but he will be assessed with a view to making a return to action in the exhibition match against La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna, which takes place on August 5 at Estadio Riazor.

As well as Pulis, Ireland manager Martin O’Neill will breathe a sigh of relief at the news of McClean’s improved prognosis, with games against Georgia and Serbia coming up in just over a month’s time in September.

Despite being limited to just 13 Premier League starts last season, Derry native has been one of O’Neill’s key players in the race for World Cup 2018 qualification. With three goals in six games, McClean is Ireland’s top scorer in Group D.

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