West Ham defender Winston Reid has suffered an injury setback in a harsh blow to the central defender who hasn't featured for the Hammers since March 2018.
Per Football Insider, Reid has been hit with fresh back and knee pain, putting his long-awaited return to first team action on hold for an indefinite length of time.
This news will be a crushing blow for the New Zealander and comes after his manager, Manuel Pellegrini, spoke earlier in the week about a potential comeback for the defender: ''We need to be calm and patient with him [Reid]... as soon as he’s able to play with the first team, he’ll be involved''.
Reid was supposed to return for the Under-21s against Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night but was ruled out as a result of the fresh problems.
The 31-year-old has made more than 200 appearances in just under 10 years of service at the London club, and over that time cemented himself as one of the starting centre-backs and a reliable option.
With no confirmed timescale on when Reid will return to the first team fold and having already been unavailable for a year and a half, his repetitive injuries will have cast doubt over whether the New Zealander can get back to his best for West Ham.
As is usual with a long period on the sidelines through injury, players are not only challenged physically but also mentally. The psychological torment of being away from your teammates for such a long time and feeling detached would have a detrimental impact on most players, but Reid isn't showing any sign of that.
The long-serving defender gave an insight into his mental wellbeing speaking to West Ham's official website back in July, when he said: “I never lost faith that I would come back, but it was a long and, at times, difficult rehab.
''Don’t get me wrong, it’s tough not being able to play football and being out for a long time and all, but it was an injury I couldn’t do anything about and there are people in far worse situations than I was.
“The club were really good with me, especially the physios and the staff. They gave me everything I needed to get back in the best possible situation.”