Slaven Bilic is hopeful Andre Ayew will soon be back in action after West Ham’s record signing returned to training on Thursday.
The winger – signed from Swansea City for £20.5million in August – suffered the setback in a 2-1 loss to rivals Chelsea, just a week after signing, and was expected to be out for four months.
West Ham have struggled in his absence and sit 15th in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s visit of rock-bottom Sunderland.
But Bilic is looking ahead to having one of his star assets back in the mix, though he is unlikely to feature at the weekend.
“It is a big boost to have Andrew Ayew back in training,” he said.
“He looks good and the medical team have done a great job. We are all delighted. We will try to prepare him for games as quickly as possible.
“We don’t want to rush things, but it is great that he is back.
“He has had three sessions with us and is improving every session.
“He will train today [Thursday] and tomorrow and we will see. We want him back. He probably needs a little more time before he can be ready for games.
“I know it will not take a long time now. He will probably not be in the squad for the game on Saturday.”
Sunderland are languishing at the foot of the table, having taken just two points from eight matches, but Bilic lent his backing to under-fire Black Cats boss David Moyes.
“You can move away from the bottom with a few wins,” added the Croatian. “David Moyes is a great manager and he has the experience.
“We will try to win and it would be good to have a couple of wins. We are positive and if we play like we did last week [a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace] we have a chance.”