West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has revealed that Marko Arnautovic could return to first-team action next week after an extended absence with a hamstring problem. The Austria international picked up the muscular injury during the Premier League clash against Cardiff City earlier in the month and it had thereafter been suggested that the marksman could be sidelined until the turn of the year.
However, speaking in a news conference, Pellegrini has suggested that the versatile forward could return ahead of schedule, although a starting role appears far from assured after a three-week injury layoff, he said: “I think that next week Marko will start working with the team. All the other players continue with their injuries, I’m talking about Fredericks, Wilshere, Lanzini, Yarmolenko, Sanchez, all of them.”
Arnautovic has been hugely impressive for the east London outfit since taking up the centre-forward role under the guidance of David Moyes last term and he has continued with the same vein of form with Pellegrini at the helm, contributing five goals and two assists before suffering an untimely setback against the Bluebirds at the London Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Hammers are currently going through one of their best Premier League spells since making the switch to their new homeground and they are currently on a four-match winning streak. During this period, the likes of Javier Hernandez, Lucas Perez and Michail Antonio have stepped up to handle the scoring mantle in the absence of Arnautovic and Pellegrini will be hoping that the team can keep the winning streak going when they host Watford on Saturday.
West Ham United are currently eighth on the table with the same points as Everton, who are ahead of them on goal difference. They could potentially jump up to sixth in the standings over the weekend, provided the results from the other matches go their way.