STEVE Clarke described Zoltan Gera’s cameo as a late substitute in Albion’s 2-1 defeat by Newcastle as a ‘big ten minutes for him'.
The Hungary skipper ended a ten-month wait for a return to first-team action following knee and hamstring injuries.
And he is now in contention for Wednesday’s Hawthorns clash with Manchester City (ko 8pm).
“It’s been a long road back for Zoltan,” said Clarke.
“He’s been out since January.
“It was only ten minutes for him but for Zoltan it’s a big ten minutes and I’m really pleased for him.”
The Albion chief also revealed Nicolas Anelka missed the trip to St James’ Park due to an ongoing groin problem.
“Nico’s had a little ongoing niggle in his groin and it’s not quite cleared up so we left him at home,” he added.
And Clarke provided an update on Saido Berahino’s contract situation.
He quipped: “I told you the other day I was really bad at predictions when I said it would be done within 24 hours!
“He hasn’t quite done it yet but it is not something we need to worry about.”