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PEARCE CLOSE TO COMEBACK
WEST HAM physio, John Green, has revealed that he and his team have worked virtually non-stop this year because of the unusually high number of injuries at the club since the end of last season.
He said: "We planned our holidays around the players rehabilitation programme and then we were straight back to work after just a couple of weeks each. It is always nice to see players return to action, but it's very frustrating when a new batch of players gets injured."
Ian Pearce could return to action this month after a lay-off of over a year.
Physio Green revealed: "His weight is much nearer his playing weight, he has come on in leaps and bounds, and his whole demeanour has changed. In fact, we have had to put the reins on him a little bit because he wanted 20 minutes in the reserves the other night."
Green insists that the praise for Pearce's imminent return to action must go to the player himself and assistant physio, John Fern.
He said: "He has been doing all the rehab work with Ian and I have only been acting in an advisory capacity."
Freddie Kanoute (hamstring) and Javier Margas (bruised knee) are likely to be out of action as is Christian Bassilla, who is seeing specialists about a knee injury.
John Moncur should be back from a viral illness, something which has also affected Scott Minto in addition to his injury, which is still a month away from healing. Gary Charles has a mild Achilles problem.
On the injury front, Frank Lampard [ankle], Scott Minto [knee], Davor Suker [groin], and Javier Margas [knee] are all out, while there are doubts over Freddie Kanoute and Trevor Sinclair. Christian Basilla faces a knee operation in France and could be out for several weeks. He has made one substitute appearance so far, against Manchester United, and impressed Harry with his combative style.
Injury latest [24/09/00]
Despite the comfortable win at Coventry on Saturday Harry Redknapp has confirmed that he still faces a major selection headache ahead of Wednesday nights Worthington Cup clash with second division Walsall.
He revealed that on top of the groin injury suffered by Rio Ferdinand, several others who played on Saturday were still not fully fit after recent problems.
"We need a run of luck with the injuries," he said. "I need Rio fit really, I need Sinclair who is playing with a groin (strain) fit, I need Kanoute to stay fit - he’s got a hamstring. I need Lampard to stay fit, he’s playing with a bad ankle.
"The problem that we have is that when we have a few injuries we get so thin on the ground. it's a real problem for us.
"When everybody’s fit we’ve got a good side - its keeping them fit. That’s the problem, we’re just a bit short on cover.”
And although the extent of Ferdinand's injury was yet to be confirmed Redknapp admitted: "I’d be surprised if he was okay."
However some good news came with the revelation that Freddy Kanoute, who was replaced during the second half on Saturday was done so as a precautionary measure only.
"He'’s okay, I only took him off very late because of his hamstring," confirmed Redknapp.
Looking ahead to the Walsall game he confessed that he would yet again be stretched to put out a team. "I just haven’t got a big enough squad that I can rest anybody," he said.
"Diawara can’t play - he’s cup tied - and Manny Omoyinmi is not available!"
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