Team news: Arnautovic closing in on return to training

Marko Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic is set to return to training next week as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.

The Austria forward has missed the last two matches after sustaining the injury in the first half of the Hammers’ 3-1 victory against Cardiff City on 4 December, but is almost ready to step up his comeback.

The news comes as a boost for manager Manuel Pellegrini as he navigates a busy period of festive fixtures – starting with Saturday’s Premier League visit of Watford.

While Arnautovic will still be sidelined for the Hornets clash, Pellegrini is hopeful that Lucas Perez will return to the fold following a foot problem.

Meanwhile, the boss is awaiting a further update on Jack Wilshere’s ankle injury.

“I think that next week Marko will start working with the team,” the manager revealed.

“For the other injuries, we are exactly the same [as last week], except we’ll see tomorrow if Lucas Perez is able to be on the squad list.

“All the other players continue with their injuries, I’m talking about Fredericks, Wilshere, Lanzini, Yarmolenko, Sanchez, all of them.

“We don’t know [if Wilshere will require surgery]. We need to wait for the medical examination and we will now properly in the next days, but at this moment we cannot be sure what he needs."