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Gera must prove fitness for new deal

Zoltan Gera has been assured his contract situation at West Bromwich Albion will not be an issue if he proves his fitness after another serious knee injury.

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West Brom head coach Steve Clarke has made it clear he expects the Hungary international to be awarded a 12-month extension at The Hawthorns - if he returns fully fit in time for pre-season this summer.

Gera is currently recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured cruciate ligament and has already spoken about his uncertain future, with his existing contract due to expire at the end of the current campaign.

Albion do have the option of extending Gera's contract for a further 12 months and Clarke believes that issue will take care of itself if the 33-year-old makes a full recovery.

"I don't think his contract will be an issue and at the moment I think Zoltan's recovery is the main thing," Clarke said.

"If he's with the squad during the first week of pre-season then we can start thinking about the contract."

Gera and young midfielder George Thorne, who suffered a similar injury, are both working hard to return in time for pre-season.

"Both George and Zoltan need to get their heads down and focus on their rehabilitation so they can be back with the squad as soon as possible, then the contract situation will be resolved," Clarke said.

"George is just a young boy and he's got his whole future in front of him. These injuries now aren't nice and they take some time to recover from, but the recovery is normally 100% so for both of them I don't think there'll being an issue.

"Zoltan is a little bit older but he's not that old when you look at the likes of [Ryan] Giggs and [Paul] Scholes, who are still playing. I don't think age will be a factor in the matter."

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