West Ham defender Doneil Henry eager for another loan spell

West Ham Upton Park

The 22-year-old Canadian has seen two short-term stints at Blackburn Rovers ruined by injury during his first 12 months with the Hammers.

After finally overcoming a succession of injuries, West Ham United defender Doneil Henry has told Sportsnet that he is eager to secure another loan move over the second half of the season.

Signed from Cypriot side Apollon Limassol in January 2015, Henry was loaned out to Blackburn Rovers two months later but injured his hamstring on his third appearance for Championship club and missed the rest of the 2014-15 campaign.

The Canadian centre-back recovered in time to make his West Ham debut in August’s 2-1 Europa League qualifying defeat at Romania side FC Astra Giurgiu but subsequently underwent hernia surgery in October which kept him out of action for six weeks.

After resuming full training, he re-joined Blackburn in late-November for a second short-term spell but saw further hamstring problems limit him to just one substitute appearance before returning to Upton Park last month.

Since permitted to join the Canadian national team for their winter training camp in San Diego, the 14-times capped Canuck admits that the past 12 months have been difficult but he is now back to full fitness and eager to secure some first-team football out on loan once he gets back to England.

"Finally I feel like I’m fit [and] I can cope with anything physically," Henry told Sportsnet. "Mentally I’m a lot stronger than last season after dealing with the two surgeries that I had.

"The hamstring injury was really, really serious. To be fair, maybe I came back a little too early.

"I feel like I'm definitely over everything. I feel good to continue to get games and build my body up to what I used to be like."

A Toronto FC academy graduate, Henry became the Canadian club's first Homegrown player signing in August 2010 and went on to make 70 MLS appearances over the next five seasons, scoring two goals and adding three assists.

The youngster actually signed with Apollon in April 2014 but never played for them, having been immediately shipped back to TFC on a season-long loan before joining West Ham the following winter.

His Hammers career has obviously not gone to plan so far but the 22-year-old stopper believes he is already benefitting from Premier League coaching and even wishes he could have moved to England sooner.

"I wish I could have gone earlier, so I could have even developed through the youth system there,” he added to Sportsnet. “I feel like the structure is a lot better organized as the club has so many years of history with players excelling through the ranks.

“I just need to be able to cope with my body and I feel like eventually I'll get my chance ... I'm still young. I'm willing to learn. I'm willing to do what I have to do to make it to the top."

Henry is expected to feature for Canada in Friday night's friendly against the USA in Carson, California, which would be his first international appearance since November 2014.

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