Faubert getting ever closer

West Ham United head physiotherapist George Cooper has reported positive news on a number of players as the injury situation continues to clear at the Boleyn Ground.

The return to fitness of French international Julien Faubert has attracted plenty of attention this week, following his successful run-out for the reserves on Monday night at Aston Villa. Faubert played the first 45 minutes in his familiar right-wing role, and scored within the first minute of his first competitive game since being sidelined back on 17 July.

"Julien is medically fit, his achilles is fine and didn't react at all," said Cooper. "He got through the reserve game fine on Monday and probably could have stayed on longer but considering he sustained the injury in pre-season last time we decided that 45 was enough. We actually feel he is more than ready to crack on as he is training everyday."

Along with Calum Davenport and James Collins, Luis Boa Morte also came through that reserve-team contest in fine fettle, playing for more than an hour up front. Such has been his progress from his hamstring injury suffered on 12 December that he could be in line to face his former club Fulham this weekend. "We took a little bit longer with him to make sure it doesn't reoccur," Cooper added. "He is fit and ready to be in contention for Saturday."

Also on the way back from a hamstring problem is Nolberto Solano, although the two Manchester City fixtures next week may well prove to be too soon and a more realistic return could be the visit of Liverpool on 29 January. A player who will be itching to face the Reds is Craig Bellamy, with Cooper expecting the striker "to join full training on Monday" adding that he had already begun "taking part in some of the passing drills and warm-ups". He has been out since October with an abdominal problem.

Bobby Zamora is also close to a full training return from his knee injury, with "some multi-directional conditioning with our sport science team" up next before that. Also doing well is Kieron Dyer, with the midfielder, also out since August, stepping up slowly after his double leg break. "We have to take it day by day because of the nature of the injury so we are not rushing things or not setting any definite time scales but he is doing really well and running which is a great sign."

Finally, Cooper confirmed Scott Parker had suffered a new knee injury following a knock during the 2-1 home win against Manchester United at the end of December. "Scott's injury is totally unrelated to his last injury. He has sustained an injury that is more common in rugby than it is in football actually in that he has torn the posterior capsule of his knee." No date has yet been set for his return.

  • Check out Saturday's matchday programme against Fulham for exclusive interviews with the fit-again Luis Boa Morte and Julien Faubert