Albion will be without Bruno again for tomorrow night's trip to Blackburn and the Spanish right-back faces a race against time to be involved in Saturday's FA Cup tie at home to Arsenal.

  Bruno has missed six of the last seven matches with an Achilles problem.

  Coach Charlie Oatway told The Argus today: "He will be struggling for tomorrow night. He is getting back to fitness now. It has been a bit of a torturous time for him when you get one of these injuries that don't seem to go away.

  "He is hoping to start training this week, so fingers crossed on that one. I'll have to talk to the medical staff about that.

  "I have just spoken to him briefly and he wants to play as soon as possible and we want him to be part of the squad straight away as well, so we'll have to see how training goes this week with him."

  Albion have to replace third choice centre half Lewis Dunk on the bench for the visit to Ewood Park, due to his involvement in a court case.

  Boss Gus Poyet has not ruled out a renewed bid for 21-year-old Dutch central defender Virgil van Dijk and the Seagulls have already signed Latvian under 21 international Vitalijs Maksimenko defender during the January transfer window.

  Bruno, skipper and centre half Gordon Greer and on-loan left-back Wayne Bridge are all 32, Bruno's deputy Inigo Calderon 31.

  Oatway said: "It's an area (defence) that we'll have to have a look at because of the obvious thing that sticks out in your head and that's the ages of some players.

  "It doesn't mean they are finished but it's an area probably that we would be looking at. We are not going to neglect any area. If a player becomes available who we think could strengthen our squad and it's in our budget and price range then I think we would look to strengthen."

  Lancashire was hit by heavy snow overnight but Blackburn officials say there are no problems with the Ewood Park pitch or access surrounding the stadium and they are confident the fixture, washed out on December 22, will beat the weather this time.