WEST BROM midfielder Paul Scharner is expected to miss Saturday’s Premier League clash with Sunderland after failing to recover from a rib injury.
The influential Austrian was forced off at half-time in West Brom’s last outing at Wolves and is almost certain to miss the encounter with the Black Cats due to sore ribs.
Republic of Ireland international Keith Andrews, who joined the Baggies from Blackburn in January, is on stand-by to make his first start in place of Scharner.
West Brom boss Roy Hodgson said: “Paul Scharner’s injured. He’s still recovering with the rib problem from the Wolves game.
“Ribs are difficult things. It’s painful but he’s getting better. But how long it’ll take, I don’t know.”
Ireland striker Shane Long is fit to face Martin O’Neill’s side, while former Middlesbrough winger Chris Brunt is due to return to full training this week after an ankle injury, although he may not be involved at the weekend.
“When he comes back to training we will see how he is,” said Hodgson. “He has been out for quite a while, so it would be foolish to put a date or time on it.”