Club News

Clarke sweating on Long and Yacob

And boss also provides injury update on Brunt, Jones and Reid

SHANE Long and Claudio Yacob have been rated at 50-50 for Monday’s home clash with Southampton (ko 8pm).

Steve Clarke has confirmed Albion have been managing a hamstring problem with Long, who trained today.

While Yacob joined in part of the session as he continues his rehabilitation from the knock he suffered against Manchester City almost a fortnight ago.

“For us, we’re doing as we have done with Shane over the last couple of weeks,” said Clarke.

“We’re managing him between games and trying to get him fit for Monday night.

“He joined in training today and fingers crossed he’ll be okay for Monday.

“Ireland haven’t picked him but I’m sure if he plays on Monday they can change their squad.

“I think we’ve managed Shane really well and it hasn’t affected his performances in anyway.

“That’s what we’ll try and do in the future.

“It’s one, if you manage it properly, he’ll continue to play at the level he’s been at all season.

“The Ireland game is not until the middle of November and we’ve got two games before that I have to think about.

“If he goes on international duty I’ll be delighted.

“I’ve never stopped a player going to play for their country.

“I think it’s a fantastic honour.

“One regret I’ve got from my career is that I didn’t play enough for Scotland, and I would never stop anyone going to play for their country.”

He added: “Yacob has had a good week of rehabilitation.

“He joined in a part-session this morning and we’ll have to monitor him again tomorrow to see how’s come through that session.

“But he was back on the training pitch today, so injury-wise we’re looking okay.”

Billy Jones (knee) has been declared fit to face the Saints after making his injury comeback as an overage player in Monday’s Barclays Under-21 Premier League 3-3 draw with Reading.

And Chris Brunt (hamstring), who also returned to action in the same game, is in the frame for The Hawthorns encounter against Nigel Adkins’ 19th-placed team.

Steven Reid will not be fit in time but has returned to the training pitch, having been sidelined with a hamstring problem for the last two months.

“Chris has trained well this week and played an hour for the Under-21s on Monday,” Clarke added.

“He’s making good progress.

“It’s been a stop-start season for Chris and it’s important we get him back and back fit for a period of time.

“He’s in the frame for Monday.

“Steven is progressing, he’s joined in part-sessions, but won’t be ready for Monday night.

“But he is now moving in the right direction, which is great for him and really good for us as well.”