Boaz Myhill was today on standby for his first Premier League appearance in 21 months after No.1 Ben Foster handed Albion a major injury scare.
The Baggies remain hopeful that Foster will play at Wigan tomorrow despite flying to Germany yesterday for tests on a groin injury – but are prepared for the possibility that he might eventually need surgery.
Wales international Myhill is waiting in the wings for a first league appearance for the Baggies since February 2011 after returning last month from an operation on his thumb.
Boss Steve Clarke said: “Boaz is fine – 100 per cent. If needed, he’s perfectly capable and ready.
“We’ve got good back-up keepers here.
“Boaz played on loan in the Championship last season (at Birmingham) and had a really good season.
“He trains well every game and if I have to rely on Boaz to play, I would be happy with that.”
Myhill has not played a league game for the Baggies since starting Roy Hodgson’s first match in charge – a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves 21 months ago.
But he was a regular starter for Birmingham in the Championship last season after moving for a year as part of the loan deal that took Foster from St Andrew’s to The Hawthorns.
He returned to the Baggies in the summer as understudy to Foster, who has missed just one game through injury since joining Albion.
Foster, who was voted player of the season in May, was last night given a 60 per cent chance of being fit for tomorrow’s trip to the DW Stadium, but Clarke refused to speculate on the possible need for surgery in the long-term.
“Until I get the report from the specialist I really can’t say,” said the head coach.
“Hopefully it is something we can manage, similarly to how we have done with Shane Long over the last few weeks. If we can manage it, hopefully we can get a few more games out of him.”
James Morrison is expected to be fit after missing Monday’s victory over Southampton with a hamstring problem.
And Steven Reid is available but Clarke hinted the right-back might be given more time to recover from his own hamstring trouble.Subscribe to our Newsletter