Brighton manager Chris Hughton hopes attacking midfielder Pascal Gross will be back available for the trip to Newcastle later this month.
Albion's player of the year will miss his fourth successive match with an ankle injury when West Ham visit the Amex tonight.
Gross scored seven goals and provided eight assists last season and already has one goal to his name this year.
He limped off against Fulham last month and asked if the injury has taken longer to clear up than originally thought, Hughton said: "Yes it has. But if I’m looking at the way it’s been dealt with, it’s been dealt with the right way.
"What you want is somebody who is coming back fully fit with no prospect of them breaking down again.
"What we do have after Friday is this international break. And what our hopes are is that he will be available for Newcastle."
Hughton added there has been no setback with the injury: "The medical department have done everything right.
"You can rush somebody back and it ends up taking that bit longer, so no setback, it’s just taken longer than we initially thought."
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