Shock triple injury boost for West Ham ahead of Liverpool and Aston Villa clashes

West Ham United have received some surprisingly positive news on the injury front for a change ahead of games against Liverpool and Aston Villa.

The Hammers have been enjoying a fantastic season under new boss Slaven Bilic and are sitting in sixth place with one eye on the Champions League places.

But fans will be left wondering where they might have been had Bilic not been rocked by a glut of injuries to key first team players over the last three months.

At one stage the East Londoners were without hero Dimitri Payet, key playmaker Manuel Lanzini, strikers Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll, winger Victor Moses and star defender Winston Reid.

While the likes of Payet, Valencia, Moses and Reid are fit again the Hammers are still missing Carroll, Lanzini and Sakho.

Right back problems

They were also without James Tomkins last time out in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City, a game in which his back-up Carl Jenkinson picked up what looks to be a season-ending injury.

Fans' favourite Michail Antonio also picked up a knock in that game and had to be substituted.

Carroll, Lanzini and Sakho were all scheduled for mid-February comebacks while the full extent of Tomkins' injury was unknown to Hammers fans.

But the club has received a massive boost on the injury front for a change with the news that Tomkins and Antonio should be fit to face Liverpool in the FA Cup on Saturday while Carroll could make the squad against Aston Villa next Tuesday night, well ahead of schedule.

Massive triple boost

Stijn Vandenbroucke, West Ham's head of medical and sports science, told the club's official site the good news.

"James Tomkins picked up a groin injury at Newcastle United," Vandenbroucke told

"James returns to full training tomorrow and should be available for this Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Liverpool.

"Michail Antonio was one of a few players who picked up knocks in the Manchester City game, but all of them will be recovered in time to play at Liverpool. Michail injured his wrist and will wear some protection in the next few games.

"Andy Carroll is close to full fitness. He will be training with the squad from the beginning of next week."

Vandenbroucke went on to reveal that Lanzini and Sakho are also coming into the final stages of their rehabilitation and are both on target to recover by the middle of February.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch