Fraser withdrew from selection ahead of the November double-header with Moldova and Denmark, but was pictured at Newcastle training under new boss Eddie Howe just days later.
Scotland went on to earn a World Cup play-off place with Ukraine in March and it will be left until then for the manager to decide on his squad which, by Clarke’s own admission, is becoming increasingly competitive for places and showed no ill effects for the 27-year-old’s omission.
Clarke hasn’t spoken to Fraser since the withdrawal but warned: “He has to get into his team. He doesn’t play regularly at Newcastle and is in and out of the team. I wouldn’t like to think the whole year ends up speaking about someone who’s chosen not to be in the squad rather than the boys who have.
“He wasn’t involved through his own choice in the November games. To be honest I don’t think we missed him, I thought the team was good in both games so Ryan could have his work cut out to be back in the squad.
"That’s just the nature of the competition for places. It’s not a squad that you want to give up your place in lightly.”
One player who didn’t give his place up lightly was Lyndon Dykes and Clarke cited the Queen’s Park Rangers striker's example as the type of player he wants for World Cup deciders which could yet be impacted by the threat of suspension despite places being at a premium.
“Lyndon Dykes came to play when his ankle was hanging off. He came and tried a training session. He wanted to fly to Moldova just to watch.
He joined us in Glasgow and took part in training and five minutes into the session you could see the boy was injured, but didn’t want to admit it because he wanted to be part of the team and he wanted to play against Denmark.
"That’s the type of player I want in the squad.”