For James Morrison the next few weeks will be the end of a long and arduous journey.
The destination is far from where he was this time last year – which would roughly be known as ‘hell’.
A skin problem on his heel kept Morrison out for the best part of a year. The inability to train properly meant that he is only now at full fitness, having got through the latter part of last term slightly below par.
But Morrison is looking ahead and was this week named in the Scotland squad by new boss Craig Levein.
He is looking forward to the friendly against Sweden, hoping that he and fellow Albion midfielder Graham Dorrans can be a force for club and country – having only started seven games together.
“It’s been a difficult year for me, but hopefully that’s all behind me,” said Morrison.
“Those problems are well documented but I knew I’d need this pre-season before I’d be properly right.
“I know George Burley had seen me play and was always hoping that Craig Levein would take that. I’m looking forward to playing alongside Dozza for club and country.
“We haven’t really played many times together. When he first came he didn’t play much then I was injured last season.
“We’ve never been in the same Scotland squad bit it’s nice Craig is looking to working with us. Hopefully we can use this opportunity to try and get a system together, move off each other and get used to playing with each other.
“It’s up to the manager to see if you can play together – we’re similar players, both like to get on the ball, play with energy.
“I think we can use those qualities in the Premier League and be a force.”
Morrison was pleased to see Dorrans sign his new deal recently.
“Dozza’s right to stay and ignore all the hype,” he added. “He’s still learning the game and he’ll get better. He’s highly thought of here by everyone and he’ll do well.
“There was a lot of speculation about me leaving West Brom when we were in the Premier league and you do get to hear about things.
“Sometimes it’s best just to be able to settle down and get on with football.”