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Boss hopeful on duo

11 September 2012

Clarke also gives update on Thomas' injury plight

STEVE Clarke remains 'hopeful' Romelu Lukaku and Steven Reid will be fit to face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday (ko 3pm).

The Baggies boss could be boosted by the return of Lukaku, who played 45 minutes for Belgium on Friday, after missing Albion’s triumphs over Yeovil and Everton with an ankle knock.

The 19-year-old striker is also likely to feature in Belgium’s World Cup qualifier against Croatia in Brussels this evening. 

And Clarke revealed Steven Reid is also making progress with a tight hamstring, picked up in Albion’s 2-0 victory over the Toffees, ahead of the Cottagers clash.    

“Romelu's injury was the result of a tackle and, to be honest, it was probably a ten-day injury. He just ran out of time to play against Everton,” said Clarke.

“It was natural that he would be fit and ready to play for Belgium."

He added: “We’re hopeful, but not expectant, on Steven Reid.”

However, the Baggies will again be without Jerome Thomas, who is yet to play a first-team fixture under Clarke, due to a hip injury.   

“Jerome won’t be fit this weekend," he added.

“He’s been a bit in and out and has picked up lots of little niggles, which is unfortunate for Jerome.

"But he’s working as hard as he can to get back as quickly as possible.

“It’s disappointing that we haven’t had a chance to get him outside more often.”

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