Since David Moyes has confirmed that the injuries last week to Winston Reid and Sam Byram are likely to keep both players out for the remainder of the season, we’re just going to have to accept the situation for what it is.
With only ten weeks of the season left; anyone picking up injuries of a medium to moderate nature will be struggling to recover in time for the closing stages of the season that’s due to end on the 13th of May.
But after the Burnley game at least West Ham United will have a break from league action until the 31st March when Southampton are due to visit the London Stadium.
Sam Byram, who came on to replace Winston Reid from the substitutes’ bench at Swansea, sustained his own injury late in the game; and as we all know this has now turned out to be more serious than originally expected.
Ankle injuries always have the potential to worsen in the immediate period after the injury has been sustained once stiffness sets in; and it’s often then next day when the full extent of damage becomes evident.
The keys to Sam’s recovery lie in how well his injury has settled in the past week and how soon he’s going to be able to begin rehab with the minimal pain present. David indicated that Sam will be unlikely to return to the team in the foreseeable future but that Winston Reid will be out for the season as anticipated.
A club statement providing a more detailed diagnosis of Winston Reid’s knee injury will be welcome; but in this respect the Hammer’s medical team will be taking care to ensure the accuracy of this when it comes.
As we all expected, there’s not going to be any quick return to the side for the Kiwi captain.
Both players will have their hands full in the weeks to come with their treatment and rehabilitation. Harsh though it sounds, the rest of the squad will just have to get on with the remainder of the fixture list in the meantime.
From the management’s perspective, David Moyes et al. will be looking at the availability of the other players who are currently injured and when they are likely to return.
Although it’s impossible to predict return-to-play dates right down to the actual fixture, the longer term injured such as Pedro Obiang, Edimilson Fernandes and Andy Carroll appear unlikely to figure in team selection for some time yet.
On a more positive note, though, it’s still possible that both James Collins and Angelo Ogbonna will be involved against Burnley. David told the media on Friday that James’ progress was being monitored but that Angelo had trained.
James Collins in particular has had more than his share of injury problems in the past couple of years. An ankle injury earlier this season kept him out of action for several weeks and his return to fitness was then complicated by a hamstring injury.
Ironically enough it’s yet another hamstring strain that has side-lined him of late; but it’s actually quite common for players returning from one injury to sustain another to a different part of the body.
There can be a number of reasons for this; and one is that you often work so hard on the original injury that the part in question becomes stronger than that of the opposite leg.
Another reason can be when different injuries in the same leg have occurred in the past; such as thigh or calf strains for example; or perhaps even a ligament sprain or two.
Previous injuries have a habit of being easily irritated; especially after a player has had a lengthy lay-off and this can be a difficult cycle to break.
Angelo Ogbonna played for six months last season with a knee injury before finally making the decision to have surgery on this; but his recent absence has been through illness as opposed to injury.
And on the subject of knee injuries, Pedro Obiang is reported to making progressions and getting nearer to fitness than he was a month ago but is still some way off in real terms. The same applies to Edimilson Fernandes and Andy Carroll; who both continue to work on their post-operative rehabilitation after ankle surgery.
Despite being shown in the media socialising recently before the Swansea game there’s no way Andy is going to be involved in the first team for a while yet; but of course as a player you’re always in the spotlight.
Perhaps Andy’s timing wasn’t the best on the night he was photographed, but as long as his timing is spot on when he finally returns to play then everyone should be happy!
Sure it’s difficult being a Hammers fan at the moment. But we’re all looking forward to the day when we hear the above players being named in the team again during David Moyes’ Friday press conferences.
As that doesn’t look to be likely in the immediate future, we’re just going to have to be patient; at least for the time being...