Michael's Back

Michael Carrick makes a long-awaited return to action on Tuesday night at Wycombe Wanderers - though he is only going to figure as a substitute - and Glenn Roeder is delighted to welcome him back.

It has been a long haul for Michael, but at least he can ow see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

Says Glenn:

"Michael needed another hernia operation before the season ended last year.

"He got injured playing for England U21s which is always the worry when you let your players go and play international football.

"But overall we have got away with it since David James got injured playing for England when I first went to the club.

"He did damage that we waited to see if rest would cure him for but he never played another game for us last year.

"In the summer the surgeon opened him up again; thankfully he did because he needed some new surgery done.

"The surgeon was very pleased with the work that he did, but we always knew that he wouldn't be ready to join in with the other players on the 1st of July.

"Slowly but surely he has been doing very light ball work and we took him to Sweden although we knew he wouldn't play.

"All the time he got through without a problem and in fact he got through a 30 minute practice on Monday and reminded me what a good player he is.

"I am confident he will be ready for the bench and that we will be able to get 20 or 30 minutes out of him - having him back would be a real bonus.

"I anticipate he will get a similar amount of time against PSV on Friday.

"No one like getting injured but he has done a lot of work on his rehab with physios John Green, Simon Webster, and fitness coach Russell Holman.

"Our only concern is to get him fit as soon as possible but we can't risk a set back and hopefully patience will pay off.

"He shared the disappointment, at the end of the season, of the lads who were playing.

"Whenever he is out of the team we miss him; he is a fabulous player who I hold in high regard.

"I have so much belief in him as a talent and as a human being and he has the right character.

"Like Joe he has been capped at the age of 20 for England and I am sure there are many more caps to come from him and Joe."

Michael's return is a timely boost, and Glenn admits:

"To be truthful it is about time we had some good news.

"Steve Lomas is out for six weeks and Ian Pearce is out for one or two weeks more so it is important to be getting Michael back.

"There is no Rufus Brevett for Wycombe either - his knee got sore against Djurgardens in the second half and although he was carrying it we got him through the game.

"We have no understudy at left back as such but Shaun Byrne will play there against Wycombe."

It highlights the need for new recruits, with 11 senior players having left since the summer and only 10 players with 10 or more games behind their belt still at the club.

Five players - six, including Rob Lee, whom Glenn is hopeful of signing - going to Wycombe have not played any competitive first team football for the Hammers.

SQUAD: James, Bywater, Forde, Schemmel, Ferdinand, Repka, Dailly, Byrne, Lee, Hutchison, Cole, Sofiane, Garcia, Carrick, Kanoute, Defoe, McMahon, McLenehan.