STEVE Clarke admits doubts over Youssouf Mulumbu’s fitness and Goran Popov’s three-match ban may force him to look at the list of players who are available as free agents to bolster his squad.
Mulumbu missed today’s 1-0 defeat by Tottenham due to a knee problem he played through at the African Cup of Nations for DR Congo.
Clarke has already lost Zoltan Gera and George Thorne to season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injuries.
And to compound his problems Popov will now miss the Liverpool, Sunderland and Chelsea games after being sent-off for spitting in the 48th minute against Spurs.
“Youssouf missed the last game before he went to the African Cup of Nations because of an injury,” said the Albion chief.
“He went, played three games, has come back and still has a problem with his knee.
“I’ve got to be honest, I’m not sure if it is a short-term or a long-term injury.
“We’ve got a little break now, until we play again a week tomorrow, so we’re hopeful.”
When asked by the media at his post-match press conference if reports linking Albion with a move for free agent Nigel Reo-Coker were true, Clarke replied: “There are a number of free agents on the market now.
“I saw we were linked with him and now we’ve lost another member of the squad it is something I might have to consider.
“Not specifically Nigel, but maybe we have to look a little bit at that market just to see if we need to boost the squad a little bit.”
PIC: WATCHING BRIEF...Mulumbu forced to take in Albion's game with Spurs from the sidelines at The Hawthorns