STEVE Clarke is hopeful Romelu Lukaku will be fit to face champions Manchester City on Saturday (ko 3pm).
The on-loan striker was forced to miss out on international duty with Belgium due to ongoing pain in his right ankle.
But the Hawthorns boss has described it as a minor problem - and he has also been buoyed by Jerome Thomas getting through training last week as he continues his comeback from a minor knee operation.
“We’re hopeful Lukaku will be fit,” said Clarke.
“He’s had a pain in his ankle for a few weeks.
“He felt it again when he came off the bench against QPR and didn’t feel it was right to go.
“He went across and got it assessed by the Belgium doctor and got sent back.
“It’s not a big problem but it’s one we’re mindful we don’t want to become a big problem.
“We’re monitoring it.
“Jerome trained last week and is on the way back.”
Steven Reid and Chris Brunt (both hamstring), and Billy Jones (knee) all remain doubts to face City, while Boaz Myhill will hopefully return to training next week as he continues his recovery from a thumb operation.