JOSE IZQUIERDO is on course for the World Cup - despite missing Albion’s last match of the season.

The Colombian left-winger was sidelined from the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool by a thigh muscle injury.

Manager Chris Hughton has allayed fears it will affect the likelihood of Izquierdo being selected by the South Americans for the finals in Russia next month.

Hughton told The Argus: “He’s got a slight injury and we couldn’t really take the risk with it.

“We are hoping he will go away with Colombia in the World Cup, so we weren’t really prepared to take a risk.

“And, as regards him being fit, it’s only very slight but he wouldn’t have made it anyway. It’s just on his thigh.

“It would have been a risk anyway. It depends on the type of injury. If it’s a muscle-type injury we wouldn’t take a risk with any player.”

Central defender Shane Duffy was forced off in the second half at Anfield by a back injury.

Hughton said: “I think it just knocked him a little bit. He’ll be fine. Both him and Lewis (Dunk) have been excellent for us all season. It’s been hard going for them in the last week (away to Man City and Liverpool), they have been up against the best players in the Premier League in three or four days. It’s great experience for them.”

Premier League survival should help Albion in their summer trading once the transfer window opens on Thursday.

“I hope so,” Hughton said. “The most important thing for us was to stay in the division and you hope being in the Premier League for a second season will make the club a more attractive proposition. We have a super set-up, so that is a nice part of it.”