Hleb poised for return
Alexander Hleb has been given the green light to make his Birmingham return at a vital stage of the season.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 07/04/11 4:31pm
Alexander Hleb has been given the green light to make his return for Birmingham at a vital stage of the season.
The on-loan midfielder has been sidelined since suffering a knee injury in an FA Cup clash with Sheffield Wednesday in February.
He missed the Blues' Carling Cup victory over his former employers Arsenal as a result and has been unable to play any part in their survival bid over recent weeks.
The Barcelona man is, however, poised to be drafted back into the fold for a trip to Blackburn on Saturday and boss Alex McLeish hopes his creative talents can be put to good use over the remainder of the campaign.
He said: "Alex is a terrific player and he's got the ability to make a difference and be a game-breaker, game-changer if you like.
"It's good to welcome players back and have them in the fold and it's a selection problem for me - but it's one I'd rather have.
"He was excellent in that cup game against Sheffield Wednesday and that's sadly when he got the injury. But he was also very good for us in an away game against Fulham."
McLeish added: "Alex is frustrated at how things have gone because of injuries. I know that he is very, very keen to steer us up the table.
"Alex is at a good level again in terms of his knee so he should make the squad this weekend.
"He has been out for a few weeks but is at a pretty good stage fitness-wise now.
"He had an injection in his knee at the beginning of last week. He has been running well."
Birmingham sit two points above the relegation zone with seven games of the season remaining, but McLeish is confident his side have enough about them to steer clear of trouble.
He said: "We've got three home games. If we take care of the home games, I believe we'll be okay.
"But at the same time we want to pick up as many points as we can. On the road, it is difficult."