Club News

Clarke protecting brave Reid

And boss provides update on Yacob, Long and Fortune injuries ahead of derby

STEVE Clarke has revealed he will hold Steven Reid back from participating in Saturday’s derby with Villa (ko 5.30pm) after revealing the full extent of his injury.

The Hawthorns boss explained the right-back played the second half of Albion’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal in early December with a fractured fibula.

Reid returned to action in a late cameo in Tuesday’s FA Cup loss to QPR, only to suffer a knock in the same area.

Clarke hopes he will be back in training next week after deciding to leave him out of this weekend’s squad as a precaution.

“Steven went to see the doctor this morning,” said Clarke.

“He’s been out for a number of weeks and we didn’t release the full nature of the injury.

“It was a fractured fibula against Arsenal and he effectively played 45 minutes with a broken leg.

“That tells you the character of the boy.

“He came back on Tuesday and got another knock in the same area.

“It’s not serious but he’ll probably miss the weekend and that will be more our decision than Steven’s.

“We’re trying to protect Steven from himself a little bit.”

Claudio Yacob has missed the last eight games due to a hamstring problem but has trained for five days and Clarke will decide tomorrow if the Argentina international is ready to face Paul Lambert’s men.

Shane Long's (dead leg) chances of playing remain at 50/50, as are Marc-Antoine Fortune's (hamstring).

Chris Brunt has recovered from flu and is available, while Youssouf Mulumbu is on African Nations Cup duty with DR Congo.

“Claudio’s been out for six weeks and he’s working well, but this game might be too close for him,” Clarke added.

“I’ll look at him again tomorrow and I’ll make my decision after training. 

“But he’s in the squad and he’s in a good place.

“I gave quite an optimistic report in midweek on the injury front.

“I’ve got to be honest, Shane hasn’t progressed as we’d hoped and is still 50/50.

“Marco has also slipped back from 60/40 to 50/50.”