The Baggies’ United States international frontman featured for just 15 minutes in Saturday’s season-opening 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough.
The 22-year-old, a January signing, was heavily involved in pre-season as he works his way back to fitness following six months on the sidelines with a thigh problem.
“We know what he’s about but we have to keep him well and keep him right, he’ll be a big asset for us,” Bruce said.
“Yes we want to put him on the pitch, but he’s been out for the best part of eight, nine or 10 months. When you’re all pace and power you have to be so careful.
“Tony Strudwick (director of medical) comes into his own now, we go by him. Same with Okay (Yokuslu), we don’t want the same to Okay to happen what happened there. It’s like a couple of new signings through the door.”
Midfielder Jayson Molumby, meanwhile, limped off with cramp late on in the battling and creditable point at the Riverside Stadium.
Fellow Irish international and forward Callum Robinson missed out with a slight knock sustained in pre-season. The 27-year-old has been linked with a return to former club Preston this summer.
The manager added of Robinson: “He took a knock against Northampton and he’s still a while off. It’s nothing serious, he’s been scanned, but it’s obviously enough to keep him out for a couple of weeks.”
One member of Bruce’s starting XI who battled through the draw in the north east was captain Jake Livermore, who played on after a recent bout of Covid, prompting praise from the boss.
“I don’t think he’ll mind me saying it was Covid,” Bruce said. “He was under the weather, it was a big call when I asked him to play on Friday and it shows what a captain and leader it is.
“He was terrific, especially second half, it was tough for him physically, he got through it and showed what a good captain he is.”