Jose Izquierdo has a double incentive to finish the season strongly.

He can help Albion stay up and force his way back into Colombia's plans for another major tournament.

Izquierdo has been through injury hell for club and country since playing in last summer's World Cup in Russia.

Knee damage sustained in Colombia's opening group game against Japan meant he played no further part in the tournament, which ended for the South Americans with defeat by England on penalties in the last 16.

Izquierdo revealed to The Argus last month he has been comforted by a priest in his homeland to help him deal with surgery and a long spell on the sidelines.

He returned to action for Albion at the end of September but a second tear to a different part of the same cartilage led to another period out.

The winger has been restricted to four substitute appearances since launching another comeback at the end of February, the latest in the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City at Wembley.

Izquierdo and ankle and hamstring victim Pascal Gross (below) have been big misses for Albion this season and manager Chris Hughton.

The Argus: Between them they scored 12 of the 34 Premier League goals last season and shared 12 assists.

Izquierdo has missed 20 league games this season, Gross 12.

Izquierdo's problems have been a blow for his army of followers back home as well as Albion.

He said: "When I go back to Colombia they are worried because I have been a long time without playing. But they know all the things that have happened. It's hard being in this position."

Izquierdo's troubles have coincided with change for his country.

Argentinian veteran Jose Pekerman has been replaced as manager by Portugese Carlos Queiroz.

Sir Alex Ferguson's former No.2 at Manchester United was in charge of Izquierdo's Albion team-mate Alireza Jahanbakhsh when Iran reached the semi-finals of the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates at the start of the year.

Izquierdo has seven games left, beginning with the Bournemouth's visit on Saturday, to attract the attention of Queiroz before he names his squad for the Copa America in Brazil in June and July.

Izquierdo told The Argus: "He (Jahanbakhsh, below) made a lot of jokes with me about the coach and that he will speak with the coach.

The Argus: "Realistically I don't know much about it, he has just arrived.

"He is trying to find out the way Colombia play and the players that have played more in the team like James, Falcao. We will see what happens.

"In the end the only way I can get into the national team again is by playing and playing well for the club. That is how I got into the national team in the first place.

"I have games left, so if I can play it doesn't matter how many minutes, the result is important.

"If I can show I am helping the team maybe there is a chance, we will see day by day, game by game.

"There was a lot of disappointment at the World Cup. The opportunity to qualify was so close but in the end the penalties are a casino and in the end England qualified.

"The decision of the coach then, you just have to accept that and give the personality to your team-mates. I had no problem with that, because we are Colombia together."

Together is a phrase often used by Albion to stress unity. Having Gross and Izquierdo back together and in form cannot happen soon enough for Hughton.