Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross is close to a return to action after injury and hopes to be involved against West Brom on Saturday.
The 27-year-old has been unavailable since aggravating a back injury during his side’s 3-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers on January 31.
The central defender has now returned to light training and is set to fully join back up with the Potters first-team squad in the coming days, meaning he could yet feature at the Hawthorns this weekend.
He said: “I’m training again now and all being well I will step it up a bit over the next couple of days. I would love to be available on Saturday.”
The experienced centre-back, who has one international cap for England to his name, knows the final decision will be made by manager Mark Hughes ahead of the match with the Baggies and he is hopeful that he can prove his fitness and avoid any reactions to the injury in training.
He continued: “I suppose it will all depend upon how I react to training and what the manager and the medical team think about it – they will have the final say.”
The former Manchester United youngster admits it has been a frustrating time watching from the sidelines as he hopes to return and help the Potters extend their current three-game winning streak.
He revealed: “It’s been five or six weeks since I last played and it has been difficult being out for so long.”
Hughes’ men are slight outsiders at 3.33 to make it four wins on the bounce, with the Baggies available at 2.29 and the draw at 3.00.