Birmingham boss Eck knows Palacios is quality: He told me himself!

Birmingham City midfielder Wilson Palacios has returned to Blues after being given compassionate leave in Honduras following the kidnapping of his brother Edwin who has still to be released.

But Alex McLeish will also assess Palacios' fitness before throwing him back into action.

The former Scotland boss said: "We have to see where Wilson's fitness is at. He will be assessed and we will work him over the next few days.

"I met Wilson for the first time this morning. He told me he was a good player!

"It (the kidnapping) is still going on. There are negotiations going on. It is a terrible situation. How can we even begin to understand what he is going through."