In truth, the injury situation hasn’t really changed that much since last week.
As West Ham go through their last minute preparations before facing Everton, the only real queries are over whether David Moyes sticks with the same eleven yet again; or has a couple of changes forced on him due to minor injuries that players may have picked up on Thursday against Manchester United.
Chicharito didn’t play at Leicester last weekend due to a knee injury sustained in training that also forced him to miss out against United on Thursday.
And although information has been slow in coming from the club in these past few days, there’s been nothing to suggest that the situation is any different to that of the previous week. He’ll be keen to play if at all possible.
Having returned from a long-term knee injury to regain his place in the squad last weekend at Leicester, Pedro Obiang must have been hoping for an appearance at some stage against Manchester United in midweek; but it wasn’t to be.
For the second game running Pedro was on the bench. But barring any unforeseen setbacks, though, he’s definitely going to be looking for at least part of the game against Everton in the Hammer’s final match of the season on Sunday afternoon.
It’s tempting to say that there’s nothing at stake in the Everton game, but of course that’s not the case.
Apart from pride, there may be one or two players who need to convince David Moyes - if he stays that is - that they are worthy of their place next season.
It’s always difficult knowing how to approach the final match of the campaign. Injuries will have an influence on team selection as always; but not nearly as much as during the regular season.
Apart from anyone with international commitments this summer, such as Chicharito and Joe Hart etc., then it’s a comfort for players knowing they can turn out for this game and then have a few weeks break; safe in the knowledge that any injuries they may be carrying will have plenty of time to heal.
The only mandatory requirement for this of course is that their injuries have got to be of the type that won’t result in any long-term damage as a result if they do play.
Sprains and strains are a no-go in that respect since anything involving damaged connective tissue that is classified as soft-tissue in nature - such as sprains and strains - will only be made worse by trying to play while injured.
Simple bruising or general overload can fall into this category however, provided that everyone including the medical team are satisfied that no further damage will be incurred as a result of playing.
David Gold spoke in the earlier part of the season about people playing through pain; and although this is a sensitive topic to discuss I’m sure that he was referring to discomfort rather than outright pain.
There’s a very fine line between a player who’s managing to get through half a dozen games or so albeit in considerable discomfort due to an injury that will ease again with a couple of days rest and somebody who’s blatantly turning out when it’s perfectly clear that he shouldn’t.
For starters, the medical people nowadays wouldn’t allow this to happen. Yet we still read week-in week-out about how certain players (at other clubs I hasten to add) will ‘defy medical opinion’ in order to play when everyone knows that’s the last thing they should be doing.
As stated though, this is a sensitive subject; and one that David and the management team will have discussed in the confines of Rush Green on numerous occasions and certainly at other clubs where they’ve been involved.
On that note, it’s always nice to put one over on your old team and there will be no happier manager in East London today if David can orchestrate a victory over his former employers.
That said, Sam’s going to bring his Everton side to the LS looking to do exactly the same.
Hopefully this won’t be a typical end of season encounter and hopefully as well David won’t be tempted to take any chances with any of those recovering from injury.
As Gary Lewin et al. will testify, the close-season is short enough nowadays without their workload being subjected to unneccassary additions!