Recovering Brunt hoping to feature in season opener

Chris Brunt is hopeful of reaching West Brom's Premier League opener with Sunderland fully fit as he looks to recover from a groin injury.

The Northern Ireland international only recently returned to training after requiring surgery to correct the problem during the off-season.

Brunt played 18 minutes of West Brom's 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest in a pre-season friendly on Saturday and is eager to be ready for the clash with Sunderland on August 16.

The squad enjoyed some warm-weather training in the United States ahead of the Forest game and will now take on Port Vale and Porto in their final friendlies before the league campaign begins.

"I think we had a decent 10 days' work in California," Brunt told the club's official website.

"I can only speak from a personal of view but I think I did a lot more than I expected and came back even fitter than I'd hoped for.

"This week has been like my first week of pre-season so I was feeling a bit leggy on Saturday.

"But from a personal point of view it was nice to get out on the pitch.

"It was pretty similar to a couple of seasons ago when I played 20 minutes there as a first game in pre-season.

"Things have been going pretty well and I felt quite good when I went on so hopefully I can get some more minutes under my belt this week and put myself in the gaffer's plans for Sunderland in a couple of weeks."