ALBION striker Will Hoskins has been told he can bounce back from devastating knee damage.
Hoskins, 26, will have surgery in Germany on Monday to repair ruptured cruciate and medial ligaments in his right knee after suffering the injury in the first half of Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers at The Amex.
Manager Gus Poyet recovered from a similar blow in the early stages of his playing career with Chelsea.
Poyet said: “I tried to be positive with him because I had a knee injury around his age. I was 29 when it happened to me and I went on to play to a high standard for another seven years so I’m sure that he will come back and be very successful.
“It’s a massive shame because we were counting on him to be a part of our run-in and he was in a moment of form in training where he pushed me a lot to play him. That’s why he started the game on Tuesday night.
“Now this has happened to him so it’s really bad luck for Will. It’s still too early to say too much about it and we need to hope that everything goes all right.
“We will need to sit down and have a look at the whole picture but under normal conditions he should be back for pre-season. We will all have to wait and see though.”
Hoskins’ contract expires at the end of the season, although Albion have an option to extend it. His future with the club will be discussed when chairman Tony Bloom returns from Australia next week.
Meanwhile, Albion have honoured an arrangement with former midfielder Agustin Battipiedi by awarding the Argentinian a short-term deal for the rest of the season with the development squad.
Battipiedi was due to rejoin the Seagulls on a six-month development contract from July to January until suffering cruciate knee ligament damage in a pre-season friendly against Dover and returning to Argentina for surgery.
The 23-year-old, who made 13 first team appearances for Albion in the 2010-11 season before spells at Eastbourne Borough and Dover, featured as an over-aged player in the first half of the development squad’s 3-1 victory at QPR on Tuesday.
Poyet said: “He can help us and we can help him as well.”
Poyet lost out to Leicester's Nigel Pearson in the Championship manager of the month for January after guiding Albion to two wins and two draws in the league, as well as knocking out Newcastle and running Arsenal close in the FA Cup.