HAMMERS welcome several senior players back to the squad for Sunday's match against Derby County at Upton Park, with Nigel Reo-Coker, Carl Fletcher and Teddy Sheringham all returning.
However, Pards admitted that the former England striker remains a doubt for the weekend's match after missing four games with an ankle injury.
"Teddy is not far away," said Alan, "and there's an outside chance he'll make the bench for Sunday. He's certainly healing well and it will be important for us to have him back.
"Nigel Reo-Coker and Car Fletcher both played in a friendly game during the week and came through it okay. They'll both be involved Sunday, which will give us more options in midfield.
"Mark Noble has done excellently in
there, but between them Nigel and Carl have played a lot of League
games and their added experience will be crucial.
Although it's likely to be another young midfield against Derby it'll certainly be a strong one."
Unfortunately, the Hammers are still without the experienced duo of Christian Dailly (knee) and Steve Lomas (calf), while Matty Etherington continues his recovery from a groin operation and will be out for another two weeks.
"Steve Lomas and Christian Dailly won't be available for the weekend," confirmed Pards. "Christian has been involved with training this week, but hasn't had any football and needs to build some match fitness. Hopefully he'll play in the Reserves next week.
"Bobby Zamora and Jimmy Walker have been sore this week, but hopefully both will be okay for the weekend.
"Bobby had a terrific game against Wolves, scored two goals, and might have had a hat-trick. He gave a high quality performance and if he recovers from the ankle injury that he's been suffering from this week then hopefully he'll put in a similar display against Derby."
The team to play Derby County will be
chosen from the following squad:
Bywater (GK), Walker (GK), Repka, Brevett, Powell, Chadwick, Mackay, Zamora, Williams, Reo-Coker, Rebrov, Noble, Harewood, Cohen, Ferdinand, Melville, Mullins, Sheringham, Fletcher.
West Ham United v Derby County at Upton Park, kick-off 12.30pm. Live on Sky TV.