Zoltan Gera believes he is ready for a cameo role against Villa after completing a successful comeback from injury for Albion on Tuesday.
The Hungarian set up Saido Berahino’s equaliser, before scoring the reserves’ second, in their 3-1 win against Arsenal’s second string at The Hawthorns.
It was his first game for Albion of any sort since a summer move from Fulham.
Gera underwent ankle surgery in the close season before suffering an unrelated setback during the opening weeks.
The 32-year-old appreciates he will struggle to break into the Albion side given the options available to manager Roy Hodgson. But, if called upon, he feels he would be worthy of a role on the bench.
“I’ve been in better shape and I was tired at the end,” said Gera. “I don’t know about Saturday. It’s the manager’s decision but I will work hard and maybe 15 or 20 minutes would be good.
“I felt I was fit some time ago but had another injury. Now I’m back and happy. I will keep training and hope to get back to my best soon.
“Fitness is the key now. I’m not ready for a full game but 20 or 30 minutes? Yes, maybe so.
“When the manager thinks I’ll be ready then I’ll be ready.”
Hodgson feels Gera is making good progress.
And while he is not inclined to rush him back, he appreciates that only match time will do from now on.
“We’re not worried about his ankle,” said Hodgson. “It’s just the match tempo and match fitness we have to monitor.
“If there had been a reserve game in the middle of last week we could even have used him in that, but this is the first one we’ve had.
“I wouldn’t think it’s too soon. To get full match fitness can take weeks so even when he gets back into the first team he might not be fully match fit, that’s a risk we have to take.”