Valencia back in training

Enner Valencia is determined to prove he is cut above after returning to training after severely lacerating his toe in a freak accident
Enner Valencia is determined to prove he is cut above after returning to training after severely lacerating his toe in a freak accident.

The Ecuador forward suffered a deep gash when he accidentally stepped on a shard of a broken toothbrush holder during a night-time trip to the bathroom.

After an emergency visit to hospital to have the wound cleaned and stitched up and three weeks of healing, Valencia returned to the training pitch at Chadwell Heath this week.

The No31 told West Ham TV he hopes to pull on a Claret and Blue shirt as soon as possible, with a chance that he could feature in Saturday’s Barclays Premier League visit to Leicester City.

“Basically, what happened is that about one or two o’clock in the afternoon, a cup that was on the toilet where I kept the toothbrushes and toothpaste fell on the ground and broke,” Valencia explained.

“I picked up the pieces and I didn’t realise I had missed a piece. Then, in the middle of the night I went to the toilet bare-footed and half-asleep and stepped right on it.

“I’m feeling great at the moment as I’ve been able to get back on the pitch this week and kick the ball. I’ve been running for a few days and am feeling very well, so it just depends on what the manager and the staff decide now.”

For Valencia, the injury came at a bad time, with West Ham desperate to end a run of indifferent results and Ecuador contesting important international matches with Mexico and Argentina in the United States.

With the Hammers looking to end the season strongly and the striker seeking a place in his country’s squad for this summer’s Copa America, the 25-year-old is eager to get back to competitive action as soon as he can.

“Of course I am desperate to get back on the pitch with my teammates to help out the squad. We know the end of the season is going to be tough, so we all need to be there and do our best for West Ham.

“Right now I’m only thinking about West Ham because it’s approaching the end of the season and we have tough games. I’m concentrating on playing for West Ham and if, after the season, they call me for the national team then it will be a great summer.”

This week, Valencia joined fellow South American Nene at the Club’s Basildon Store, where the pair spent two hours meeting Hammers fans.

“The support from all the West Ham fans has been fantastic throughout the whole season, and being able to get a smile out of a child is the best thing ever!” Valencia smiled, before talking about spending welcome time with three-month-old daughter Amelia, his wife and son during his recent injury lay-off.

“I had to stay at home the whole time in the early part of my recovery because I couldn’t even walk, so the bright side was that I got to spend a lot of time with my family.”