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The Irish striker returned after almost a month out to score the winning goal on Saturday, and does not have any ill feeling towards the Villa defender responsible for his lay off

West Brom’s Shane Long insists Alan Hutton does not need to apologise after returning from an injury resulting from the Aston Villa defender’s challenge.

The Baggies striker has missed out for almost a month after suffering bone bruising and a small bone chip in his right knee following Hutton’s two-footed tackle.

He returned on Saturday to score the winning goal in the 2-1 home win over Bolton, and was keen to move on from the incident.

'There’s nothing for him [Hutton] to apologise for," he told The Daily Mail.

“I’m sure he never meant to crack a bone in my leg. We move on.”

When asked whether he was targeted deliberately, Long conceded that he came in for some rough treatment against the Villans: “I can’t really say that – but it felt like it anyway.

“I got kicked four or five times in my 10 minutes on the pitch - maybe I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time!”

Long missed the Republic of Ireland’s victory over Estonia in their Euro 2012 playoff, but focused on the positives of returning sooner than expected.

He was expected to be out for up to six weeks following a scan, but manager Roy Hodgson will be pleased to have him back earlier, with the former Reading striker having settled in well scoring four goals so far in his debut season for the Baggies.

Long is West Brom's top scorer this season and his goal against Bolton lifted them into the top half of the table.

He added: “I’m just glad it wasn’t a lot longer than it has been. It’s only been four weeks so it could have been a lot worse."

“I knew it was going to be a bad enough injury at the time because I hadn’t felt a pain like that before. I was devastated because I felt I had just started to get going.   

“I was just angry that I knew I was going to be out for a while. But I kept my head over the last three or four weeks, although the medical staff had to put up with a few rants and raves.”

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