West Ham defender James Tomkins turns to needles in rehabilitation

West Ham United defender James Tomkins is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to recover from a serious shoulder injury, and is even trying acupuncture.

The Basildon-born star dislocated his shoulder back in March and required surgery to fix the problem.

He was expected to miss the rest of the season but has responded well during his rehabilitation and could yet feature for the club before the end of the current campaign.

Everyone knows most changing rooms are full of banter between players. But Tomkins has quite literally been getting some needle this week as he had pins stuck in his shoulder to help aid his recovery.

Posting on social networking site Twitter, where he has more than 8,000 followers, the 25-year-old put up a picture of his shoulder with the acupuncture needles sticking out alongside the words: "No pain... no gain! Hard work pays off."

Acupuncture is used to treat a range of conditions and most commonly for pain relief. The Academy graduate sustained the painful injury overdoing his routine exercises in the club's gym not long after signing a new long-term contract until 2020 with the Hammers.

His presence has been sorely missed as the Hammers struggle for points and, due to injury to his fellow centre back Winston Reid, midfield star Cheikou Kouyate has on occasion had to deputise.

In fact before his injury, Premier League statistics showed that Tomka, as he is affectionately known to fans and teammates, had been the club's best defender in the league this season.

But the impact of his absence has been lessened to some extent in recent weeks by the emergence of another home-grown Hammer in the shape of 18-year-old Reece Burke.

Should he recover sufficiently there is still time for him to play some part in the East Londoners' remaining three Premier League games against Aston Villa, Everton and Newcastle.

Tomkins, who has eight goals for his boyhood club in 182 games so far, is back in training now. Just last week he said he was 'getting there' and 'can't wait to get back out on the training field with the lads'. 


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