Jose Izquierdo has been told he has the mental strength to beat his long-term injury.

Team-mate and close friend Ezequiel Schelotto believes the winger will follow his own example and return to full fitness.

Izquierdo has not played this season due to an ongoing knee problem and there is, as yet, no prospect of a comeback in the near future.

He has seen Schelotto force his way back into the Albion matchday 18 after recovering from ruptured knee ligaments and winning over a new head coach.

The two South Americans are very close off the pitch.

Schelotto told The Argus: “Jose is out right now but he is on his way back.

“It all depends on him. He is a great player.

“He is not just a team-mate but he is also a very close friend.

“He is in a process of recovery and, God willing, he will be back in not many months.

“If a player wants to come back from injury, he has to take all fear out of his mind and be mentally strong.

“Jose is going that way and I see him very enthusiastic about coming back.

“These injuries we have had aren’t normal. Very few players get these injuries.”

Schelotto has come off the bench in Albion’s last two home games.

He shed tears of relief when he made his comeback against Everton and hopes his progress will be an inspiration to Izquierdo.

The Argentinian, popularly known as El Galgo, said: “I needed to take away that thought that, when I came back to play, I would get injured again.

“I’m over that and you have to be mentally strong.”