Gianfranco Zola is looking forward to Valon Behrami taking the next step when the West Ham United squad return from China this weekend.
The Switzerland midfielder has stayed behind at Chadwell Heath to work on his fitness after making excellent progress during the two-week training camp in Austria. Behrami has been targeting a mid-August return to full training and the sight of him pounding the pitches in recent days has given fresh hope for the new season.
Speaking from Beijing, Zola said: "Valon Behrami is training and he is doing very well. The only reason we didn't bring him here was because he wouldn't be allowed to do the same things he has been doing so far. The good news is he has been working on the pitch, he has been running and kicking the ball so he is looking very good."
Behrami has been out of action since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in the 1-0 defeat of Manchester City on Sunday 1 March. At that time, the thought was that he would be sidelined until September at the earliest but the 23-year-old has impressed all with his recovery rate and determination to get fit as soon as possible.