Hammers set to welcome back trio for Derby clash

Mark Noble and Lucas Neill could return for Hammers this weekend (c)

Mark Noble and Lucas Neill could return for Hammers this weekend (c)

First published in News

LUCAS Neill, Freddie Ljungberg and Mark Noble could hand West Ham a timely boost for Saturday's Premier League encounter with Derby.

The trio missed out on the trip to Bolton at the weekend but have all returned to full training this week.

Captain Neill suffered an ankle injury in the 1-0 defeat at home to Portsmouth last Tuesday, while Noble and Ljungberg have both been sidelined for the last two matches with hamstring injuries.

All three should be in contention for the clash with the Rams at Upton Park.

Meanwhile, Anton Ferdinand could make an unexpected return to the squad in time for the Irons' clash with Newcastle at Upton Park in ten days time.

The 23-year-old limped out of the 1-0 defeat at Bolton after pulling his hamstring just a minute into the match.

It was feared he would miss the rest of the season.

However, the club has revealed that the defender had treatment on a nerve in his back which directly affected his hamstring, causing it to tighten.

Wingers Julien Faubert and Matthew Etherington are also making good progress from their repsective injuries.

Frenchman Faubert, out since March 1 with a calf problem, is back in training and played 45 minutes for the reserves last week.

Etherington is one of the four squad members suffering with an abdominal strain but could return to full training soon.

Both could feature for the first team in the remaining four games.

But James Collins (knee), Danny Gabbidon (abdominal), Calum Davenport (neck), Nigel Quashie (foot), Lee Bowyer (groin), Kieron Dyer (broken leg) and Craig Bellamy (abdominal) are all out for the rest of the season.

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