STEVE Clarke is hopeful Ben Foster will be available for selection within the next fortnight.
The Baggies goalkeeper today (Friday) joined in a training exercise with the rest of the squad for the first time since suffering a stress fracture to his right foot in late August.
He has been out on the practice pitch with the keepers for the last two weeks - but has now taken a major step towards a potential comeback.
“Ben did a little crossing and finishing exercise with the main group today,” said Clarke.
“He had the gloves and boots on and fitted in well.
“It was the first time he joined the main group; he’s been training with Dean [Kiely] and the goalkeepers.
“It was the first time we put bodies in and around him.
“He’s making slow progress but good progress.
“If he continues his progress now then at some stage in the next two weeks I would imagine he’ll be available for selection.”
Meanwhile, Scott Sinclair’s frustrating spell on the sidelines due to a hamstring tear could come to an end after ten weeks as he is available to face Norwich tomorrow (ko 3pm).
And Clarke is hoping the on-loan Manchester City winger can play a key part in the remainder of the season.
"Now we are a little bit behind where we want to be in terms of points and we have to start addressing that over the next few games,” he added.
“Scott is one of the members of the squad that can help us do that.
“He has to concentrate on staying fit and getting in the team and helping the team pick up the points they need.
“I just see Scott the same as the rest of the players.
“They’re all determined in training to impress me and try to force their way into the team, and the ones that are in the team are determined to stay in there.
“I don’t see extra determination, I just see normal determination from him.
“I can’t comment on his injury record at City because he was out of the team a lot of the time, not because of injury, but because they’ve got so many fantastic players.
“He’s had one injury here but it was a major injury.
“When you tear a hamstring, as opposed to getting a tight hamstring or a slight injury, it’s serious.
“He tore his hamstring and that’s quite a significant injury, so we made sure that when he comes back he’s correct.”