West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew is hoping to have Daniel Sturridge by the start of March following his recent injury setback. The England international sustained a hamstring strain just three minutes into the Baggies' 3-0 defeat to Chelsea in the Premier League.
Speaking ahead of FA Cup tie versus Southampton, Pardew revealed that the injury is not serious, and he is aiming to have the 28-year-old back in action when they travel to Watford in March, he said: "He has a hamstring injury, we don't think it's very serious but probably enough to keep him out of the next two games then we'll have to see.
"When you bring a player in, you want them to make an impact and unfortunately after three minutes that chance had gone away. It's crucial that we try and get him back and ready for the run in because I still feel he can make a difference for us."
Sturridge's injury is likely to put further pressure on Jay Rodriguez and Salomon Rondon to find the scoresheet for the Baggies, who are presently lying rock-bottom of the standings. The west Midlands outfit have found themselves largely secure in their previous seven seasons in the top-flight, and they face a tough challenge to beat the drop this time around with teams above them improving with every game.
The gap between them and Premier League safety widened to seven points after the previous matchday, and Pardew may need to find a source of inspiration from the relegation tussles from Sunderland and Leicester City, though the former are now struggling in the second-tier.
Despite the urgency to rack up points, Pardew has indicated that he will name a relatively strong-looking side to face Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round this weekend. The Baggies picked up one of the shock results of the competition after they beat Liverpool 3-2 at Anfield in the previous round.