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Hodgson defuses Odemwingie row

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Peter Odemwingie has endured an injury-hit season © PA Photos
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West Brom manager Roy Hodgson does not believe Peter Odemwingie is guilty of exaggerating the extent of his recent knee injury, and has warmly welcomed the return to fitness of the striker ahead of Saturday's match with Tottenham.

Odemwingie has endured an injury-hit campaign, with his latest setback keeping him out for the past month.

Hodgson vented his frustration at the situation earlier this week when he claimed that Albion had so far this season got "nothing'' from a player who netted 15 goals last term.

Hodgson further claimed that Odemwingie was "difficult to work out'', prompting the player to take to his Twitter account to post a picture of the injury and to reassure Baggies fans that he cares for the club.

Odemwingie's Twitter account also sees him pictured holding one of the newspaper articles in which Hodgson made his comments, but the Albion manager insisted he had never questioned Odemwingie's desire to play for West Brom.

"If I thought he was malingering I would say so,'' Hodgson said. "Interpretations are interpretations. It's been frustrating for us, having one of your best players out for a long period of time.

"We've been encouraged to think he'll be back a little bit earlier and of course that is also frustrating when it doesn't come off.

"This week was fine, he's got back, he's training, and he'll be available for the game on Saturday, which is great news...I think he's a very good player and I'm pleased to have him back.''

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