West Ham”s new Head of Medical Services Gary Lewin has issued his first update on player fitness ahead of the start of the new season, and it’s largely positive news.
Last season’s top scorer, Michail Antonio, underwent hamstring surgery and has been working back to full fitness having missed the entire pre-season.
The winger is expected to take part in an U23 game tonight at Dagenham to build up his match fitness after a full week’s training with the first-team squad. Providing he comes through tonight’s game and next week’s training unscathed, he should be available for the trip to Southampton next week.
We haven’t seen Diafra Sakho in a while, after making just three appearances last season. The striker has struggled with recurring back and hamstring injuries over the last 18 months or so.
Despite not featuring at all in pre-season, Sakho has had a full week of first-team training after playing in an U23 match against Tottenham last week, but the club want him to have another week of training under his belt before looking at getting him some match time.
Aaron Cresswell missed a few days of training this week with a slight knock but will train fully today and may feature at Old Trafford.
Midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate suffered a knee injury earlier in the summer and missed the club’s pre-season but is working hard to get back to full fitness.
Lewin states that Kouyate is close to being reintroduced to full first-team training, along with Manuel Lanzini, who has also struggled with a knee issue picked up during pre-season. The club hope that both players will be ready to play before the first international break.
As for Andy Carroll, the striker still remains some way off from featuring for the Hammers in the Premier League but he is progressing well after undergoing surgery to solve an adductor problem.
Carroll has stepped up his rehab recently and is set to rejoin first-team training in a matter of days and he is moving in the right direction towards full fitness.
West Ham take on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday but will be fielding a weakened side given the injuries the squad have suffered.