Slaven Bilic provides positive fitness update on three key West Ham United players

West Ham United are set to welcome a number of key players back to their starting line up.

Slaven Bilic has told West Ham United’s official site that Diafra Sakho is way ahead of schedule in his return from injury.

Sakho picked up a thigh injury during West Ham’s match against West Bromwich Albion at the start of December, and there were fears that he was set to be on the sidelines for a lengthy period.

However, Bilic has been encouraged by the front man’s progress, and the Croatian boss believes that the striker could return earlier than originally expected.

"Sakho looks like he is way ahead of the schedule, so maybe the beginning of February, but that’s on paper," Bilic said. 

Sakho’s return will be a major boost for West Ham, as he has become their main striking threat since joining.

The Senegalese international has scored 13 goals in 32 Premier League starts for the Hammers since moving to the London club in the summer of 2014.

The likes of Andy Carroll and Nikica Jelavic have both stepped into West Ham’s starting line up since Sakho has been injured, but both possess a different threat type of threat to the former Metz man.

As well as Sakho’s positive recovery, Bilic also confirmed that Dimitri Payet and Winston Reid were both back in action, following spells on the treatment table.

“Payet is back. It’s a different type of injury because it was the ankle. That’s ok and it’s a lot easier to predict the risk with that injury – basically there is no risk unless someone kicks him in the ankle again. With the muscle it is a little bit different," he added. 

“Winston Reid has trained with us for a few days now and we’ll see how it goes for the cup game.

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