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Saturday 15 December 2018

Tony Pulis optimistic West Brom goalkeeping duo will be fit to face Southampton

Ben Foster's injury is a cause for concern for West Brom
Ben Foster's injury is a cause for concern for West Brom

West Brom boss Tony Pulis is hoping to avoid a goalkeeping crisis against Southampton on Saturday.

Pulis faces a wait to see if either Ben Foster or Boaz Myhill will be fit to play at St Mary's, with untested 21-year-old Alex Palmer in line for his first-team debut should both be sidelined.

Foster missed the draw at Leicester with a knee injury so Myhill made his first Premier League start since April 2016 but finished the game hobbling around with a hamstring problem.

Both players trained on Thursday and it is hoped they will do so again on Friday before the squad travel to the south coast.

"We've had scans back and Ben trained yesterday while Boaz trained and did a little bit yesterday as well," said Pulis.

"They'll do a little bit more today and w e hope one of them will be fit to start, but we don't know which one.

"It's going to be a big 48 hours for us as a team and as a club in respect of the two senior goalkeepers, although it 's brighter than it was after the game on Monday."

Foster's injury, which he suffered while playing in the garden with his children during the international break, is of particular concern to West Brom given his history with knee problems.

The 34-year-old has had three knee operations during his career, the latest of which ruled him out for 10 months between 2015 and 2016.

"I've been in the game a long time and seen people pick up injuries in training, b ut I've also known people pick up injuries from other things," said Pulis.

"Sometimes it's the silliest thing that can happen to injure these players. We were very disappointed at the time because I think Ben is one of the best keepers in the Premier League, without a question of a doubt.

"You never know with that knee injury. He's had a scan and I think the specialist has said he's got to get on with it, so hopefully he gets on with it and nothing happens."

Should neither Foster or Myhill make it, academy product Palmer will be handed the gloves. His only first-team experience to date came during a couple of loan spells at Kidderminster.

"He hasn't played any league football. Everyone has to start somewhere but it would be very difficult for him to start in the Premier League because it is what it is," said Pulis, who is still unable to call on James Morrison, Oliver Burke and Hal Robson-Kanu due to muscle injuries.

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