Joy of six for West Ham as club gets major injury boost ahead of season opener against Arsenal

Upton Park

West Ham United got a timely boost ahead of Sunday's Premier League opener against Arsenal with no fewer than six first team players returning to training.

In the latest update from the treatment room on West Ham's official website, the club confirmed reports that striker Andy Carroll was back in full contact training with the Under 21 side.

The 6ft 5in England international remains a number of weeks off a first team return.

But it will give fans and manager Slaven Bilic some comfort given the lack of options available to the former Croatia boss after Enner Valencia's three-month lay-off left him with just Diafra Sakho as a proven Premier League goalscorer.

If that wasn't good news enough, there was even more positivity in the update as the club revealed no fewer than five other first team players are also back in training this week after recovering from injuries.

Do you want the good news, or the good news?

Key defender Winston Reid, new midfielder Pedro Obiang, winger Matt Jarvis, number two goalkeeper Darren Randolph and left-back Stephen Hendrie have all 'recovered well' according to Stijn Vandenbroucke, West Ham's head of medical and sports science.

"We have some very positive news to share with you from the treatment room as we prepare for the start of the Barclays Premier League season," Vandenbroucke told whufc.com.

"I can tell you that Andy is being integrated into group training with the Under-21 players as he steps up his rehabilitation.

"To continue the positive theme, we have welcomed five players back to first-team training this week following minor injuries."

Vandenbroucke also revealed the club would start treatment on Valencia's injury in around three weeks' time.

News is just what club needed ahead of daunting trip to Emirates

With West Ham's Europa League destiny hanging in the balance after they let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 with FC Astra Giurgiu last week, a small cloud has been hanging over Upton Park since.

Bilic has only been in the job for less than two months and is fast learning just how demanding it will be to compete domestically and abroad if his side should manage to progress in the second leg on Thursday night.

Shorn of several first team players through injury and suspension, the ex-Besiktas boss finally has some good news from the injury room and it will give the whole club a lift heading to the Emirates to face Arsene Wenger's title hopefuls.

While anything other than defeat will be a bonus for the Hammers on Sunday, having those bodies back will give the club much needed options ahead of more winnable back-to-back home matches against Leicester City and Bournemouth.

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