West Ham given injury boost as key defender fit to continue

Winston Reid will be available for the Hammers' trip to London rivals Chelsea on Saturday.

West Ham United have been handed an injury boost with the club confirming on their official website that Winston Reid's injury in the match against Manchester United last weekend was not serious, and the defender will be fit to face Chelsea on Saturday.

Reid came off just after the hour mark in the FA Cup quarter-final draw at Old Trafford in what was his first competitive first-team match in over a month after a spell on the sidelines.

That change sparked panic amongst Hammers fans who feared they could be without the New Zealander for another extended period at a crucial point in the club's season.

However, the Irons' head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke has confirmed that the 27-year-old was merely taken off as a precaution and will be fit to return to action immediately.

He told the club's website: "[Reid] had only trained for two days with the squad and, following discussions between the manager, the medical staff and the player himself, we took the calculated risk of playing him at Old Trafford.

"He played and came off as a precaution following some good communication between the staff and Winston, and he has trained this week and will be available to face Chelsea on Saturday."

Reid has been a key player for West Ham this season when fit, making 21 appearances in all competitions in his fifth full season at the club.

The news that he has not done any further lasting damage will come as a huge boost for manager Slaven Bilic and Hammers fans, particularly as Vandenbroucke revealed that neither James Collins nor James Tomkins are quite ready to return.

He added: "James Tomkins (calf) and James Collins (hamstring) are injured, but both are in the final stages of their rehab. Tomkins is almost finished and will re-join training later this week, while Ginge [Collins] will return to training during the international break."

West Ham are enjoying a fine season in their final campaign at Upton Park, and could potentially move into the Premier League top four with victory at Stamford Bridge.

Three days after that London derby they host United in the replay of their last-eight cup tie, hoping to book a Wembley semi-final date next month.

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