Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is nearing full fitness and could be in contention for West Ham’s Boxing Day match against Crystal Palace, said Manuel Pellegrini. The manager added that fellow stopper David Martin, who suffered a similar hip injury against Southampton earlier this month, is also in line to return over the festive period.
Fabianski tore his hip muscle while taking a goal-kick during the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth on 22 September, and was replaced by Roberto, whose gaffe-prone run in the side could see him sold in the January transfer window. The 33-year-old Spaniard’s form was so alarming that pressure has been heaped on Mario Husillos, the Argentinian director of football responsible for bringing him to the club last summer. He was subsequently replaced in the side by Martin.
After West Ham’s Premier League match against Liverpool was postponed due to the European champions’ participation in the Club World Cup in Qatar, Pellegrini’s side have had 12 days between games. However they now have a run of three in seven days, with the Palace match followed by the visit of Leicester on Saturday and Bournemouth on New Year’s Day.
Speaking on Monday, the manager said he would assess both keepers’ fitness before the fixture at Selhurst Park: “Both of them are recovering, we will see in the next days who is able to play. I don’t think either will be able to play both games in 48 hours, so we’ll see in the next couple of days who will be playing at Crystal Palace. Fabianski is working every day a little bit harder. If he is not ready for the 26th, then maybe the 28th or the 1st.”
The club has also been boosted by positive updates on midfielders Manuel Lanzini, who has been sidelined since November with a collarbone fracture, and Felipe Anderson. Pellegrini said: “Lanzini has worked without any problems for around 10 days. It’s maybe more easy to return after a shoulder injury. Felipe has worked a complete week without problems after his illness. Jack Wilshere has had some problems with his groin so he hasn’t worked with the squad.”