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Keeping as injury-free as possible is key to West Ham United’s revival

Two games in quick succession doesn’t leave a lot of time for rest and recovery

West Ham United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The fixture list has been good to West Ham United over the holiday break; with a home game against Newcastle followed by a relatively short trip to the south coast to face Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

With two important fixtures coming up in quick succession, the three players who have been out of action with hamstring injuries have certainly been welcome additions to the squad.

It’s heartening to see the returning trio of Winston Reid, James Collins and Chicharito all back in action; and at the moment all three appear to be doing well.

And as we enter the festive season, David Moyes will be keen to ensure that everybody returning to the team remains fighting fit and raring to go!

There won't be a lot of time available for rest and recovery after the Newcastle game, so keeping the squad as injury-free as possible is key to West Ham United’s current revival.

At the moment, David’s only doubt for the Newcastle match seems to be Michail Antonio. The latter, who has struggled in 2017 with first a hamstring injury and then a rib injury, missed the Arsenal game in midweek with a calf strain.

Although David Moyes reported that Michail trained with the team on Friday morning, obvious doubts remain over whether he will be fit enough to face Newcastle.

On the positive side Cheikhou Kouyaté is expected to return to the side this weekend; but on the negative - Edimilson Fernandes’ ankle injury is reported to have required surgery; so he too will be out for a while.

West Ham United v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

In the meantime, José Fonte continues to work at rehabilitation following his own ankle operation a few weeks ago; while Mark Noble as we know is still in the early stages following a hamstring muscle injury.

Staying on the positives though, Sam Byram is now reported to be running in training; and on that basis it won’t be too long before he starts to get involved in the footballing work once again.

As soon as Sam begins kicking a ball he’ll be able to see some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

It’s only been a few weeks since Gary Lewin pointed out that the ‘international break’ as it is commonly referred to is anything but a break for the injured players and staff remaining at the club who aren’t involved with their respective countries; and this time of year is even busier for everyone concerned.

With the Hammers facing Newcastle on Saturday afternoon at the traditional kick-off time of 3pm, Sunday will be a day for rest and recovery. The management can go over the events of the game the day before while combining this with a light training session.

This will allow Gary Lewin and the medical team time to simultaneously assess any injuries sustained from the Newcastle match and make a start on any treatment required; bearing in mind that by that stage the Bournemouth fixture will be due in just over 48 hours!

Stoke City v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

And of course, injuries aren't going to respond any differently just because it’s Christmas Eve.

That means Gary Lewin et al still have to turn up for work as usual on the 25th to continue treatment for anyone injured.

To all intents and purposes, Christmas Day is just another day at the office for anyone involved in football.

The team will likely go through another session on Christmas Day as David finalises his preparations and on the Tuesday there will be a loosening up session in readiness for the kick-off.

But before that comes the Newcastle game; and although on paper most of the ‘experts’ have all three points staying in East London, Rafa Benítez might have something to say about that!

And while David Moyes will probably be telling the team not to take anything for granted; changed days are here when it comes to making predictions and the Hammers are now favourites.

However, it’s still early days yet for David Moyes and his new coaching team; but everyone is in agreement that there’s a different atmosphere around the place at the moment.

The key to that obviously lies in getting good results; and keeping the squad as relatively injury-free as possible will go a long way towards that.