"The speed of the game is different to what he's used to," said Steve Clarke's joint-No.2 to the Albion website.
"To play the number of games he has played is impressive and we think he's coped really well with the physicality of Premier League football.
"The fact is that I don't think, with the benefit of hindsight, that it will do him any harm having a game or two out of it and having a breather.
"He's been a great influence in midfield and a great acquisition.
"Paul Scharner left in the summer and Claudio came in to replace him, and he's been a real bonus for us this year."