Steve made his first home appearance in nine months to a rapturous reception against Fulham in the FA cup last week, but is still effectively on the comeback trail.
He didn't travel to Burnley, and Alan explains:
"He got a calf injury at the weekend so he is still picking up bits and bobs here and there in his recovery; that is what is going to happen because he has been out of the game a long time.
"We are just taking our time to make sure he is right."
As for that loan possibility, he says:
"I am just thinking about what is best for Steve and for us; we want him up to speed as quickly as possible and that might be the best way of doing it rather than playing reserve games where we feel perhaps he is not getting what he needs out of it - especially the way Steve plays.
"He needs it to be high tempo and be flying around, and obviously reserve games are a bit different to that."
Alan has loaned out Greg Pearson and David Noble to Barnet and Boston United respectively, and he explains:
"They need to go out and show me they can operate at Football League and Conference level; certainly Greg will be looking to get some experience to bring back to West Ham, as will David.
"Of course Greg has got a chance; he is 6' 1", he is an athlete and a powerful boy with a great goal scoring record this year."
As for Neil Mellor going back to Liverpool earlier than was originally intended - he had been due to stay the season - he says:
"I didn't let Mellor go back to Liverpool as such; he wanted to go back and you can't keep someone against their wishes.
"I wanted him to stay, I didn't want to lose a striker of his quality, so I was disappointed - but that was a decision that he thought was best for him."