Zola enjoys McCarthy return

West Ham United are set to be boosted by the return to full fitness of striker Benni McCarthy, who has been troubled by a knee injury in recent weeks.

The 32-year-old South Africa international suffered an injury on his Hammers debut against Burnley at the beginning of February, having moved to Upton Park from Blackburn Rovers on deadline day at the end of the previous month.

He was back in the squad for the recent 4-1 defeat at Chelsea and boss Gianfranco Zola is hopeful that McCarthy is now ready to aid his side's relegation fight.

He told the club's official website:"He has a lot of faith in his ability and he's a big player.

"He was training the whole of last week. He started very slowly, but towards the end you could see him improving.

"This week he will be at his top. We are relying a lot on his experience and knowledge, he has played important games in his career.

"We are expecting nine very important games. His experience and quality will be vital for us."

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