Winston Reid is looking forward to putting a three-month injury lay-off behind him as he closes in on a first-team return.

The No2 returned to full training this week for the first time since undergoing surgery on a damaged ankle, giving manager Sam Allardyce a timely boost.

Although Wednesday night's trip to Chelsea looks set to come around too soon for the New Zealander, he is sure of being back on the pitch before long.

He said: "It is a big relief to be back after three months out. I was a bit rusty as I have been out for a fair bit, but I will try to work hard and get back in the team as soon as possible.

"It is certainly the injury that has taken the longest in my career, so I guess it was the worst, but it was pretty basic really. For instance, when I had the operation it only took ten or 15 minutes. It was just in and out, put a tightrope in there and I was ready to go.

"Luckily enough it wasn't more serious than that, but it just takes time to heal unfortunately.

"If I could, I would want to go out there and play on Wednesday, but that is probably not realistic. We will just have to marry what the physios say with what the manager says and see how my ankle feels day by day."

Reid is one of several injured players edging ever closer to a comeback and he wants to play as full a part as possible in the Hammers' survival bid.

He added: "I think we have got all our players back, as well as two new boys in, so I don't think we have got any excuses anymore, it is down to the players to deliver the goods.

"The staff around us can only do so much, but at the end of the day it is the eleven that go out on the pitch that have to do the job.

"It is going to be a big 16 games and it is certainly not like it was last season. At this stage we were pretty much safe, but it is not going to be like that now.

"We have put ourselves in this situation and we have to get ourselves out of it, but if we all do our jobs correctly and give it 100 percent then I think we will be OK."