Nicolas Anelka to return to West Brom training on Thursday following compassionate leave

French striker could be back in the squad to face Swansea on Sunday

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The Independent Football

Nicolas Anelka has returned to West Brom following talks with manager Steve Clarke and club officials.

The Frenchman will resume training tomorrow, and could be back in the Baggies’ squad for their Premier League match against Swansea on Sunday. The 34-year-old had been given indefinite compassionate leave from the club following the death of his agent.

“Albion can confirm that Nicolas Anelka will resume first-team training tomorrow and be available for selection for Sunday’s game against Swansea,” the club statement read.

“The striker was excused from club duty for the fixtures against Everton and Newport on compassionate grounds and, having met with head coach Steve Clarke today, he will re-join his team-mates tomorrow.”

There had been reports that the striker would retire from the game altogether following the death of his agent, Eric Manasse, and Clarke confirmed that Anelka had told him he wanted to quit, but the club were always hopeful he would return.

West Brom became the sixth Premier League club of the veteran Frenchman’s career when he joined on a one-year deal in July, but his only appearance for the Baggies came in the 1-0 home defeat by Southampton on the opening day of the season.