West Ham manager David Moyes has confirmed that Michail Antonio is “back running on the grass.”
The 33-year-old has not played for the Hammers since injuring his knee whilst on international duty with Jamaica all the way back in November.
Antonio was expected to be back to full fitness by now but he did suffer a setback in his recovery last month and it was estimated at the time that he could be ruled out until mid to late February.
Based on Moyes’ latest comments, that estimate appears to be accurate. The forward is still not in full training and he will also need time to recover his match sharpness before being selected for games again.
It means he won’t be available to face Manchester United on Sunday afternoon, and there is little to no chance that he will be ready to play Arsenal later this month either.
Estimated Return Date – Saturday 17th February v Nottingham Forest
Lucas Paqueta is also not close to making his return from a calf injury. Speaking after the draw against Bournemouth on Thursday night, Moyes definitively stated that the Brazilian international “won’t be back this weekend” to face United.
He picked up the injury in the first half of the 2-0 victory against Arsenal at the end of December and it was estimated that he would be sidelined for at least eight to ten weeks.
It means that the Irons are expected to be without Paqueta for the Manchester United clash, the return fixture versus the Gunners, as well as the matches against Forest and Brentford later this month.
The games at the beginning of March (Everton on the 2nd and Burnley on the 9th) are the most realistic dates for the 26-year-old to make his comeback.