West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic has given an update after a COVID-19 outbreak at the club’s training ground.
Bilic has admitted the Baggies had as many as 15 positive cases recently, forcing players to miss Premier League matches with Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.
BBC Sport reported both Branislav Ivanovic and Matheus Pereira tested positive ahead of facing Spurs on November 8.
Former Blade Callum Robinson also returned a positive test while away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
Kieran Gibbs and Jake Livermore both then missed the trip to Man United after falling ill – according to Birmingham Live.
“I have to praise our medical team because a couple of weeks ago we had many cases, maybe 15 cases, it was a high,” Bilic said in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Saturday’s clash with Sheffield United.
“They didn’t affect the game that much, a couple of them didn’t play against Spurs before the international break.
“A few of them weren’t in the squad against Manchester United but it was good timing at least, because it was the international break.
“Jake Livermore and Kieran Gibbs are negative, but unfortunately even though they’re negative one of them still feels a bit rough.
“For one of them it’s probably going to be a bit too early, the game on Saturday, but we’re going to see. It’s good news for us. All the other guys are well and okay.”
What West Brom COVID-19 outbreak means for Saturday
The Blades travel to the Hawthorns for an 8pm kick-off tomorrow night in a crucial fixture for both sides.
They are now the only teams in the division not to win a league game in 2020/21 following Burnley’s victory over Crystal Palace on Monday night.
They also occupy the bottom two places in the table. The cliché of a ‘relegation six-pointer’ very much applies.
For the Baggies, this update will be greeted as good news. Although it seems one of either Gibbs of Livermore will still miss out.
Sam Field was another who tested positive, but the latest round of testing has produced all negative results.
However, Bilic says Field is still struggling with a knee injury and won’t be involved.