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Roy Hodgson optimistic over midfield pair


West Brom manager Roy Hodgson is optimistic midfield duo Zoltan Gera and skipper Chris Brunt could return to action ahead of schedule.

Gera was initially ruled out for the rest of the campaign with the knee injury he suffered two months ago. Brunt was expected to be out until mid-March with after undergoing ankle surgery last month.

But news of their possible return was a factor in Hodgson not pursuing his interest in Szabolcs Huszti from Zenith St Petersburg at this juncture.

Hodgson said: "Huszti is something we will have to look at for the future. He would have been the right type of player.

"He fitted the sort of profile we were looking for because we've lost two important players in Gera and Brunt.

"But on the other hand we've got to be careful because even Zoltan will return before the end of the season and I'm hoping Brunt might not be out for that much longer.

"I was a bit wary about bringing someone who suddenly might find himself out before he even gets into it (the side)."

Hodgson added: "Zoltan is determined to be back before the end of the season.

"He's telling me he won't be long now, although the doctors might be more cautious and pour (cold) water over that enthusiasm."