STEVE Clarke revealed James Morrison missed tonight’s 2-0 win over Southampton due to a training-ground injury.
The Baggies midfielder had been a Barclays Premier League ever-present before The Hawthorns clash against the bottom-placed Saints.
But Clarke did not feel it was worth risking him, especially as Claudio Yacob was available for selection again after missing the trip to Newcastle because of a niggle.
“Morrison picked up a little niggle in the week in training and we decided not to risk him,” said the Albion chief.
“We had Claudio coming back and Youssouf and Zolly were good options in midfield, so we decided not to risk James.
“We’ve got a run of difficult games coming up and we’re trying as much as possible to use the squad and make sure everyone is in good shape.”
Clarke also explained the situation with Ben Foster, who was forced to kick with his weaker right foot throughout the televised encounter due to an injury he suffered in the warm-up.
The Baggies boss, on the back of a fourth clean sheet in ten top-flight games, added: “Ben felt something in the warm-up and decided he would kick mainly with his weaker foot, which worked okay – but obviously he’s better with his left.
“We never considered changing Ben.”