Gardner-Hickman has made a real impression since regaining his place in the Baggies’ starting XI earlier this month, writes Ollie Westbury.
His energy in midfield has helped Albion to two wins and a draw.
And those displays have now led to international recognition with the youngster earning a first call up into the England under-20 squad.
Bruce, though, has stressed it’s important 20-year-old doesn’t get carried away by his recent success.
“He is still a bit raw,” Bruce said when asked about Gardner-Hickman’s recent performances.
“When you put a young one in, you have to look at whether they can handle it. But he has had a really good fortnight, and I’m sure he will remember it.
“It’s important now that he keeps his feet on the ground and doesn’t get carried away.
“He needs to keep improving, but the type of kid he is, he wants to keep improving that’s for sure.
“When he walks through the door you can see his enthusiasm and the supporters have taken to him because he is one of them.”
Gardner-Hickman came through Albion’s academy as a right-sided winger but has been converted into a central midfielder this season. And Bruce is pleased with how he is developing in the middle of the park.
“It’s getting better,” the boss said when asked about Gardner-Hickman’s positioning in midfield.
“I saw him in central midfield at Coventry which gave me food for thought.
“I’ve never seen him play on the right really. But he’s given us a bit of life and energy at the right time.”
England’s under-20s will play two fixtures in the European Elite League.
They will travel to take on Poland on March 25, before returning to the UK to face Germany at Colchester United’s JobServe Community Stadium on March 29.
As well as Gardner-Hickman’s call-up, Baggies trio Dara O’Shea, Callum Robinson and Jayson Molumby have been called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for March’s internationals.
Stephen Kenny has named the trio in the squad for friendlies against Belgium and Lithuania at the Aviva Stadium.
Semi Ajayi has also been called up by Nigeria for their crucial World Cup play-off with Ghana.
The first leg of that play-off will take place on Friday, with the return leg on March 29.