West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has been a real boost ahead of the club's next Premier League match - a tricky away trip to Crystal Palace - following Italian international defender Angelo Ogbonna's return to training.
Ogbonna has been battling against a frustrating hamstring injury since the middle of September, but responding to a fan on social media, Hammers co-chairman David Gold confirmed the summer signing is now back working with the rest of the squad.
"Ogbonna is now training with the first team," he said.
Ogbonna is now training with the first team. dg https://t.co/tq5B4wcIW7— David Gold (@davidgold) October 11, 2015
Gold also informed supporters that Alex Song, who is yet to play since rejoining for a second loan spell from Barcelona because on ankle injury, is expected to be available for selection by the end of the month.
Alex Song should be back before the end of October. dg https://t.co/Kyz7iFzTrx— David Gold (@davidgold) October 11, 2015
In other West Ham injury news, Enner Valencia made his return to action in a private friendly against Reading held at Upton Park on Friday. The Ecuadorian forward was able to play the final 20 minutes of the 4-3 defeat after overcoming the knee injury that has plagued him since the summer.
I watched Enner Valencia returned to action on Friday and both Andy Carroll and Mauro Zarate scored in the 4-3 friendly defeat. dg— David Gold (@davidgold) October 11, 2015
Having also recently returned to action, Andy Carroll continued to build up his fitness and even found himself on the score-sheet, as did Mauro Zarate, who scored twice.
With a number of key West Ham players not involved in international football, it was a good opportunity for many to keep their fitness levels ticking over - Mark Noble, Dimitri Payet, James Tomkins, Victor Moses, Pedro Obiang, Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio and Nikica Jelavic were all involved in the game.
Speaking to WHUFC.com, Tomkins expressed a particular delight to see Carroll and Valencia. "It was good to see Andy back among the goals and get ninety minutes under his belt after being injured for a while," he said.
"It is good for him to be back out there and it was also great to see Enner get some match fitness. He is ahead of schedule which is good for him and us as a team. If we can keep him fit he is an added bonus and the squad is looking very strong. It is nice for the players who are just coming back."