West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has given some positive updates on the Hammers’ injuries stars ahead of a busy summer schedule.
The Hammers have been without star players Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Diafra Sakho for weeks now and they haven’t won a game since Payet’s was crocked for three months at the beginning of November.
However, Bilic told West Ham’s official site that the likes of Payet and Lanzini are very close to a return to action.
He said: “It is good news that Dimitri Payet is ahead of schedule.
“He should train with us after Villa [on Boxing Day] and is with the fitness coaches now. He might be involved in the Liverpool game, which would be a big boost for us.
“Lanzini is progressing and will probably be available for the Southampton game.”
West Ham travel to Aston Villa on Boxing Day before welcoming Southampton on the 28th and then hosting Liverpool on January 2.
And the Hammers also have Andy Carroll working his way back towards full fitness after missing Sunday’s goalless draw at Swansea, but Bilic admits the striker will not be available against Villa.
“His injury is not like a big one, but it rules him out of the game against Villa,” Bilic confirmed.
“We shouldn’t forget that we have two games in two days. That is a very tricky period.
“For him it’s impossible to play at Villa, but now it looks like Andy might – might- be available for the game [against Southampton].”
And Bilic also hinted at how he might line up against rock bottom Villa on Saturday.
“It will be the same squad as against Swansea, but we should have one or two back for Southampton.”