Valencia - I hope to be back as soon as possible

Enner Valencia has vowed to make a return to first-team action as quickly as possible and hopes to play a major role for West Ham United in 2016.

Valencia was forced to miss the start of the season after he was injured during the Europa League game agains AFC Astra Giurgiu and only made his return to action against Watford at the end of October.

But the Ecuador international suffered more heartbreak in the next game when he came on as a substitute against Everton and damaged his ankle following a challenge with Seamus Coleman.

After seeing a specialist this week, Valencia was told he would be ruled out of action until the start of the New Year, but the 26-year-old says he will be doing everything to come back sooner.

Valencia said: “Thank God the injury isn’t quite as bad as initially thought. I hope to be back as soon as possible.

“I was worried when the injury happened. When I clashed with the Everton player I feared it might be the same problem (as before) but it wasn’t, it was a minor ligament issue.

“I’m following all the doctor’s advice and despite wearing a boot, my aim is to get back as soon as possible.

“The first injury I suffered here was the first serious injury in my career, it was very tough but I was very impressed by how good the medical team are here.

“They do an amazing job and I was able to return three weeks earlier than expected. Now more than ever I need to put my faith in them, continue to work hard and hopefully not get many injuries in the future.”

Valencia has been overwhelmed by the support that his team-mates, the medical staff and the fans have showed towards him this season and hopes to repay their faith by coming back and producing his best form for the Club.

Valencia added: “It definitely helps. The people have been incredibly understanding - the board, the fans, the staff and of course my teammates.

“Being injured is the worst thing that can happen to a footballer so having all this support is really fantastic. It’s helping me have a quicker recovery.

“I have received so many supportive messages recently on my social media profiles, saying things like ‘I hope you get back soon’ and ‘We would like you back as soon as possible’. The support has been absolutely fantastic so I would like to thank them for that.”

Valencia was gutted to see his team-mate Dimitri Payet also ruled out for three months with an ankle injury, but hopes the team will be able to cope without both of them and can continue their impressive start to the campaign.

“Dimitri has been having a spectacular season so far, he has been one of the best players in the Premier League. His injury is a very unfortunate thing to happen. We all wish him the best and hope he gets back as soon as possible.

“I haven’t had the chance to play so much this season but Dimitri has played every game and he’s been the main man. The Club did make some very good signings this summer so I think there are players who can come in and do well and keep our form going.”