Sport Soccer

Monday 19 March 2018

Dimitri Payet in contention for West Ham return against Liverpool

Dimitri Payet has made a rapid recovery from a knee injury
Dimitri Payet has made a rapid recovery from a knee injury

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is weighing up whether to throw Dimitri Payet straight in against Liverpool despite the midfielder being a month ahead of schedule in his fitness battle.

French playmaker Payet, one of the stars of West Ham's impressive start to the season, was expected to be sidelined until February with the ankle injury he suffered against Everton in November.

But the 28-year-old has made such a rapid recovery that he could be pitched in from the start when Liverpool visit Upton Park on Saturday.

Bilic said: "Is he in contention to start? Yes.

"He is back, he's been training with us for a couple of days and depending on how he does today I'm expecting him to be in the squad and available for the game.

"We will see how much he is going to participate in the game, but he is back and it's a great boost for us."

Winger Victor Moses and defender Winston Reid have also recovered from injuries after a couple of months on the sidelines.

But Bilic feels they are unlikely to be ready to face the Reds and has pencilled the duo in to return against Wolves in the FA Cup the following weekend.

"Victor Moses and Winston Reid are back, it's a good situation for us," he added. "They are lacking fitness but they have started training with us.

"But for the Liverpool game, no, probably not. They only just started training with us so they will be more for the FA Cup game. That will be good recovery for them."

Bilic will also check on the fitness of left-back Aaron Cresswell, who missed Monday's 2-1 win over Southampton with a hamstring problem.

Press Association

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