Albion had feared Long would be out for up to eight weeks with a knee injury but he returned after only a month to turn home Nicky Shorey's second half cross.
Hodgson said: "It was an easy decision when Shane was declared fit because he is a good player and when he doesn't play, we miss him.
"He adds a dimension to the way we play. When we win the ball back and get it forward, things build up from him.
"Today they also built up from Zoltan Gera and I had two of them up there doing a magnificent job in that respect.
"We've missed that the last couple of weeks and those two can take a good deal of the credit for a very good West Brom performance."
Hodgson added: "Long was only touch and go in the sense that doctors advise caution and players and coaches are more adventurous.
"In Long I have the most adventurous of the adventurers. He is Tintin plus!
"Basically speaking, he wanted to play and the doctors made no attempt to stop him playing."