Ben Foster’s World Cup dream is still alive, according to Baggies boss Steve Clarke.
The England keeper will again be missing when the Baggies take on Crystal Palace at The Hawthorns tomorrow with his fractured foot also set to keep him out of this month’s international friendlies against Chile and Germany.
But Clarke believes Roy Hodgson’s knowledge of Foster from their time together at Albion means the 30-year-old is still on course to make England’s squad for Brazil – where he could even challenge for the first XI with Joe Hart’s place under threat.
“Roy knows him,” said Clarke. “He had him in his last year at the club so Roy understands Ben as a person and a player, which is good for both of them.
“First he has to get fit and get over what was quite a serious injury.
“We will all give him a little bit of time and space. When he is fully fit again we can start to have the conversations about him getting back into my team and then into the England set-up.”
Foster has been ruled out since suffering the freak injury at Everton on August 24 with Boaz Myhill deputising for the Baggies.
The former Manchester United man was given a 12-week rehabilitation programme and Clarke said: “I think he’s dealt with it well – and he’s not the type of person that deals with inactivity well.
“He’s quite a lively character and he likes to be involved in everything.
“He’s weight-bearing again on the foot and things are progressing well so he’s starting to see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, which is important for him.
“He’s not too far away.”