Dean Smith has confirmed James Chester’s return to full training this week – and says Marvelous Nakamba is closing in on a Premier League debut.
Smith says Chester is still some way off being available for first team action, due to the length of time he’s been out, but that it’s a boost to see the captain back out on the training field.
However, Nakamba, who’s been building up his fitness, is in the Head Coach’s thoughts for West Ham United on Monday.
He said: "James Chester trained for the first time again this week.
"He's been out since the Shrewsbury game in pre-season, so his rehabilitation will take longer. But he's in and around us now.
"As for Marvelous, he's close to being ready.
"Everyone saw him play against Crewe, where he was finding his fitness in that game.
"He got better as that game went on and hasn't missed a training session since.
"He's looking good. He's pushing the likes of Douglas Luiz and Conor Hourihane, who has played well for Ireland.
"Henri Lansbury is also training really hard. He's also pushing for a place.
"Players know they've got to be at their best because there's plenty behind them."
Smith also revealed that Jonathan Kodjia and Matt Targett are unlikely to make the Hammers clash.
Kodjia has taken a knock to the head over the international break, while Targett is more likely to be available for the Arsenal fixture.
Smith added: "Jonathan had trained all the way up until the Crystal Palace game. He was available but we didn't involve him because he hadn't had enough minutes.
"Unfortunately he's picked up an innocuous head injury, which we're assessing at the moment. We'll see how he is.
"Targett will probably be looking at the Arsenal game. I think Monday will come too quickly for him."