Long has not completed a full 90 minutes this season but has still played a leading role in the Baggies fine start to the campaign through careful management of the setback.
Clarke said: "There is an injury to Shane that everyone knows about now through circumstances we couldn't control. Playing through an injury is just a measure of how much they want to play for the club, which is great. They put their body on the line and play with little injuries - but we also have had great help from our medical staff."
He went on: "They go about their job quietly but play their full part as well in getting the players into a good place.
"The medical staff do all they can to make my job more difficult so I've got more options to choose from every week."
He said: "It's part of the job and if I didn't want to try and juggle five strikers, I wouldn't have them. You can't have enough good strikers."