Team news: Moyes offers Anderson, Antonio and Yarmolenko updates
West Ham United manager David Moyes has offered updates on three attacking players working their way back towards full fitness.
Speaking at his pre-Leicester press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Moyes discussed the relative recoveries of forwards Felipe Anderson, Michail Antonio and Andriy Yarmolenko, all of whom have missed several games of late with injury.
Anderson’s last appearance in Claret and Blue came in the loss to Sheffield United on 10 January, in which he sustained a back injury through a bad fall, while Yarmolenko last featured against Southampton on 14 December and has since been absent with a thigh problem.
On his way back from a hamstring injury, meanwhile Antonio’s last game came in the reverse to Wednesday’s fixture – the home game against Leicester City on 28 December.
"Felipe’s got a problem with his back from the landing which he had in the game [against Sheffield United], which looks as if it’s going to keep him out for a while,” Moyes confirmed. “A while looks like probably four weeks, we think.
“Michail Antonio’s getting closer to fitness. He’s been training with us now so he’s getting a little bit closer. Yarmolenko we still think’s probably the best part of three weeks away at the moment.
“We could do with getting some back because of the busy programme, but sometimes game after game for the players isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes it also focuses them and hopefully we’ll keep our form going at the moment.”
With his attacking resources stretched in recent weeks, Moyes was quizzed about the potential of recalling loan stars Josh Cullen and Grady Diangana from Charlton and West Brom respectively.
Both players have flourished in recent months as their sides have pushed for promotion in the Championship, having been sent out on loan to garner such first-team experience.
Moyes, however, believes the duo’s recent injury problems make them less viable first-team options at West Ham United in the short-term, citing the recovery timelines involved.
Maybe in a month’s time, which it might take for him to recover from his hamstring, we might have a few players back by then, so that probably means he’ll [Diangana] stay at West Brom
“Bringing them back was a big consideration, because they both are really good young boys and we like them a lot,” Moyes admitted. “Grady’s done so well at West Brom, but I think his injury last night will probably put paid to us needing him.
“Our difficulty’s probably just now – we’re so short of players just now. Maybe in a month’s time, which it might take for him to recover from his hamstring, we might have a few players back by then, so that probably means he’ll stay at West Brom until the end of the season.
“Josh Cullen has had an injury as well, and at the moment we think that him getting games for Charlton would be the best thing. We hope they do well because they’re two promising young players.”
Moyes also took time out to praise his latest signing Darren Randolph, the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper who made his second debut for the Club against Everton on Saturday.
In doing so, Randolph became the fourth goalkeeper the Club have fielded in the Premier League this season.
“I hope we don’t need to bring in any more [goalkeepers], I hope we’re done!” he joked.
The boss added: “Obviously it’s a concern, but I think everybody’s well aware that we’ve had some difficulties there. Lukasz [Fabianski] is such a good goalkeeper and losing him at different times was costly to the Club, so I think the quicker we get Lukasz back the better.
“I have to give Darren a lot of credit because he hadn’t played in [a while]. He couldn’t do anything about the goal on Saturday and in the main he did everything very well, so we thought he did great for the first game.”