Journalist Pete O’Rourke reckons that Kurt Zouma’s injury boost is an unexpected bonus for West Ham manager David Moyes.
The Frenchman has been out since the beginning of December and was set to face a long spell on the sidelines.
But ahead of the Hammers’ game with Norwich, Moyes revealed that Zouma is making good progress and is nearing a return from his hamstring problem.
What happened with Zouma?
Having joined from London rivals Chelsea, Zouma was enjoying a fine season at the heart of the West Ham defence. After sitting on the bench for the first game following his arrival, the 27-year-old would then start the next 11 Premier League games.
And Zouma would play 90 minutes in each of those, until the 11th game against his former side before he was forced off with 19 minutes remaining. He was enjoying another excellent game in West Ham’s 3-2 victory, but was taken off after sustaining a hamstring injury in the latter stages.
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Zouma’s absence was felt, with the Hammers collecting just one point from their next three top-flight matches, although they bounced back with a productive festive period, which included progression in the FA Cup.
Including the Norwich game, Zouma has missed nine games across four different competitions, but Moyes is optimistic that he could return soon.
What did O’Rourke say about Zouma?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “Zouma coming back earlier than expected is a huge bonus for David Moyes, if he’s back before the end of the month.
“He’s been playing with two centre-backs in the last few weeks, which has been a bit of a strain on David Moyes’ resources.”
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When could Zouma make his comeback?
Moyes’ choice of words were that Zouma is doing “very well”, and he was hoping that he isn’t too far away from returning to action.
Therefore, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when the centre-back might return to action but it sounds likely that he could miss the weekend game with Leeds and trip to Manchester United seven days later.
But Premier League clubs aren’t in action in the final weekend of January, which gives Zouma an extra period of time to get fit. After that, West Ham travel to Non-League side Kidderminster in the FA Cup fourth round in early-February, which would be an ideal first game back for the ex-Chelsea man.
If Zouma returns sooner than that, it could even prevent Moyes from having to sign a centre-back this month.