Long, who found the net 22 times in 87 games during a three-year spell at the Hawthorns, came back to haunt his former club on Saturday with the second goal in a 2-0 win for Hull.
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He has scored three goals since making the switch and Foster admits he is unsure as to why Long was allowed to leave.
"Sometimes I think why did we let him go to be honest with you," Foster told reporters. "It's not even hindsight.
"He was one of our best players from the last couple of years and it's disappointing that he's no longer here.
"He's a fantastic player and we would love to have him now.
"If you had asked the players, we would have liked to have seen him stay. It's a business at the end of the day so it's out of our hands."
With Nicolas Anelka having also left West Brom, head coach Pepe Mel's primary attacking options are Victor Anichebe, Matej Vydra, Thievy Bifouma and Saido Berahino, who have 10 league goals between them this season.