Club News

Clarke upbeat on Sinclair and Foster

But boss waiting on three or four players ahead of City game

STEVE Clarke has revealed he is waiting on the fitness of three of four players with injury niggles ahead of tomorrow’s game with Manchester City (ko 8pm).

Nicolas Anelka (groin) is one those men and the Baggies boss will be without the suspended Youssouf Mulumbu.

But he was able to provide positive updates on Scott Sinclair (hamstring) and Ben Foster (foot).

Sinclair is ineligible to face parent club City but is likely to be in contention for Saturday’s clash with Norwich (ko 3pm).

While Foster is now training regularly with the goalkeepers and remains on track in his recovery from the stress fracture he suffered in his right foot at Everton just over 14 weeks ago.

“There have been absolutely no complications with Ben,” Clarke insisted.

“It’s just been a little bit slower than we thought because medicine and recovery from injuries is not an exact science.

“On the 12-week mark when we predicted he may be ready he was getting close and since then his progress has been good.

“Ben’s been back working outside for a couple of weeks now.

“He hasn’t joined the group for full training but he is back working with the goalkeeping group, which is just another step in the right direction for him.

“He’s progressing slowly but progressing well.

“He’s starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

“He’s not too far away but I won’t tell you he’ll be ready in a week, two weeks, three weeks or four weeks.

“I’ll just wait and let nature take its course.”

Zoltan Gera made his long-awaited return from a serious knee injury as a late substitute in Saturday’s game at Newcastle.

But the Albion chief admitted he is unlikely to start the Hungary skipper against City, preferring to give him more time coming off the bench.

“Zoltan could start a game, whether he would last 90 minutes or not would be another question," added Clarke.

“But, at the moment, just for Zoltan to get that feel of being back on the pitch on Saturday was big.

“The next stage for him is probably playing that little bit longer coming off the bench and then we’ll see how he is from there.”