West Ham United manager David Moyes provided news that no Hammers fans want to hear ahead of their latest massive contest against Southampton on Saturday: Manuel Lanzini may not be available to play.
The news came in Moyes’ press conference ahead of the beginning to the season’s “make or break” stretch, as the Argentine playmaker’s absence in his country’s 6-1 defeat to Spain had an alarming injury reason behind it.
“We got a problem with Lanzini, took a knock and didn’t play the second game with Argentina, so we’re assessing it,” Moyes said. “A problem with his knee. He’s done a good bit of running, so we’re hoping he’s got a chance.”
The Lanzini injury rings alarm bells once again for the club, and James Collins continues to have fitness concerns himself. On the positive note, a certain tall striker appears to be close to returning for the crucial final weeks of the season. Andy Carroll’s improved health is among the several players coming back from different absences for West Ham.
“Ginger had a bit of a hamstring injury, so we’re going to have to assess it as well,” Moyes said. “I think after that, people are improving. Andy Carroll is improving and getting closer to getting ready to play, so one or two are coming back. Edi Fernandes is back as well. Arthur (Masuaku) is back, which seemed like an eternity of his ban, but he deserved it. But he’s now back.”
“I think he’s got a chance, Andy. He’s really improved. He’s come on, he’s running, he’s doing a lot of change in direction. So, can we get him fit for 90 minutes. I’m not sure I can get him fit for 90 minutes. But if I can get him fit to play for me 20 or 30 minutes for games between now and the end of the season, I think I would be really good.