West Ham United defender Winston Reid could make his long-awaited comeback next week.

West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini has told the club’s official website that Winston Reid will play with the under-23’s soon, as he looks to get back to fitness.

Reid has been out for almost a year and a half with injury now, but he is close to making his return to action for West Ham.

The defender will have to be eased back into competitive games, after such a long period on the sidelines.

And Pellegrini has suggested that Reid’s first steps to getting his match sharpness back will come with West Ham’s development side.

“Probably the first game Winston will play will be with the U23s. It may be next week but it could be one week more,” Pellegrini said.

On his day, Reid was one of West Ham’s best defenders in recent years, but it will be tough for him to get back to his best after so long out.

The New Zealand international, who is on a £70,000-a-week contract (Spotrac), looks set to be a reserve choice for the Hammers now, even when he is back.

West Ham currently have Angelo Ogbonna, Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena who all appear to be ahead of Reid in the pecking order.

West Ham’s first-team’s next match comes against Manchester United on Sunday, when Reid will be an interested spectator.

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