West Brom manager Steve Clarke has revealed that the club are concerned about the fitness of Shane Long and Claudio Yacob as they prepare to face Southampton in the Premier League.
The Baggies welcome the south coast club to the Hawthorns on Monday evening, but their manager has confirmed that striker Long is a doubt for that game.
Long has been omitted from Giovanni Trapattoni’s latest Republic of Ireland squad due to the question marks over his fitness, but Clarke has not ruled out the 31-time international being a late addition.
“For us, we’re doing as we have done with Shane over the last couple of weeks,” Clarke told the club’s official website.
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“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.”
Clarke also stated that midfielder Yacob could make the team as his recovery from a knock he picked up against Manchester City continues.
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.”
The Scot, in his first full-time managerial job after a long playing career with St. Mirren and Chelsea, revealed that Chris Brunt will be fit for the game, but Steven Reid is likely to miss out.
He added: “Chris has trained well this week and played an hour for the Under-21s on Monday. 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.”