All Whites captain Winston Reid set for West Ham return after recovering from groin injury
Winston Reid is set to make his return to the English Premier League this weekend after successfully recovering from a groin injury.
All Whites captain Reid limped off during the early stages of West Ham United's 3-2 loss to Leicester City on March 19, the injury ruling him out of the club's last four matches and New Zealand's pair of World Cup qualifying wins against Fiji.
Four days later, the 28-year-old central defender told Fairfax NZ he hoped to be back on the pitch within five weeks and it appears that will be the case.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic offered good news on Reid when speaking to the club's official website ahead of their clash with Everton on Saturday (Sunday NZ time), which is exactly five weeks to the day since the injury occurred.
"Yes, Winston Reid is back," the Croatian coach told whufc.com on Wednesday.
"He's been training with the rehab and fitness coaches for a week now and they have done good work on his fitness, so he is back and trained with us on Tuesday."
Reid's imminent return to action will also be pleasing for All Whites coach Anthony Hudson, with the Confederations Cup in Russia looming.
New Zealand play the first of three warm-up matches for the tournament against Northern Ireland in Belfast on June 3 (NZ time), just 12 days after West Ham's final match of the EPL season.
A return against Everton could see Reid, who has missed a number of matches for the All Whites through injury since making his debut in 2010, play up to five matches before linking up with the national team.
Bilic was optimistic Reid's return would make an impact after the Hammers had lost two, won one and drawn one in his absence, putting them 13th on the league ladder.
With just nine points back to 18th-placed Swansea City, the London club needed a positive finish to the season to ensure they did not become in danger of relegation.
"We know from before that [Reid] doesn't need many games to get his form good, so it's big for us of course because he's one of our major players, one of the senators, as I call them. It's a big boost for us for the remainder of the season.
"He is one of our best players of the season, so we are expecting him to make our defence more solid.
"I don't know if we have enough points to keep us safe, but we have five games to play and I think that we still need points, because we don't want a situation where we are waiting for other results to go with us and wonder [if it's] going to be enough."