Saido Berahino is not ready to be involved with West Bromwich Albion's first-team as the striker is struggling with physical and mental aspects of his game, manager Tony Pulis said.
The 23-year-old Berahino has not played since September and has not scored in his last 14 games in all competitions for West Brom, a drought stretching back to February.
"Saido's getting on with his job. We need to get games into him. He is nowhere near ready we think to start a game of football so it's just about him getting games and that is what we are trying to do," Pulis told reporters on Friday.
"It's both. He's trained every day and it's now just about getting him some games," Pulis added when asked if Berahino's unavailability was due to physical or mental issues.
Berahino, linked with a move away from West Brom in January, recently returned to the club after being sent to a conditioning camp in France to help him lose weight and regain fitness.
"We'll wait and see (if there is a possibility of him leaving in the January window). Every window has brought speculation and we have another four or five weeks to get through that," Pulis said.
Pulis confirmed last week that West Brom made a bid to sign Morgan Schneiderlin from Manchester United, who are willing to let the France midfielder leave for the right price.
"Morgan is just one of two or three we're looking at. The most important thing is that you do your business with other clubs. It's respectful to other clubs and then you move on from there," Pulis said.
West Brom, who are ninth in the table, travel to eighth-placed Southampton on Saturday.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)