Argentine midfielder Manuel Lanzini is in the frame for a possible return to action for the first time in eight months.
After being named in Argentina’s final 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Lanzini had been preparing for the upcoming tournament when he sustained a ruptured anterior knee ligament injury in training in June.
The 26-year-old has since spent the past eight months working hard on his recovery from injury and made a welcome return to training in January for West Ham.
Now Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini has revealed he may name Lanzini in the team to face 19th-place Fulham on Friday in a Premier League match.
Samir Nasri, who signed for West Ham in the January transfer window after serving a drug ban, is also in contention to return after recovering from a small calf problem.
“For this game we have the squad which played most of the games and maybe Lanzini and Nasri can be included on that squad list,” said Pellegrini on the club website.
“They worked not only today but they worked the complete week. We will talk to the medical staff about whether we can use them.
“All four playmakers in our squad were injured, which is always difficult, so the return of both of them injects more quality into the squad.”
Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere though continues to be a doubt with a new ankle problem and has made just five appearances for West Ham this season after arriving for free last summer.
“We will analyse Jack Wilshere next week, then we will be more clear about his future,” added Pellegrini.
Friday’s opponents Fulham are eight points adrift of safety in the Premier League table and have only managed one win in their last six league matches.
“It’s a tricky game against a team fighting not to be relegated,” said Pellegrini.
“They have a good manager and signed a lot of good players, so it will not be easy if we don’t play as we did against Liverpool and in the first 45 minutes against Crystal Palace.
“We must start the game fast and play well with a good tempo to get the result that we want.”