Enner Valencia has returned to West Ham United training and could be fit to play again for the club this month, manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed.
Valencia suffered a knee injury in the Europa League qualifying clash against Astra in July and has been sidelined ever since.
The Ecuador striker issued an apology last month after he claimed West Ham were not supporting him during his recovery, and the 25-year-old is now edging close to a comeback.
“Enner will join us in parts of training today. It is massive news for us that he is getting closer. If everything goes well it’s a matter of two or three weeks for him,” Bilic said ahead of West Ham’s trip to Sunderland on Saturday.
“The picture will be clearer on team news after training, but [Angelo] Ogbonna is definitely out. [Andy] Carroll will train with the fitness coach today and if it goes well he will train with us tomorrow, and [Winston] Reid is doubtful.
“They are small things but they may be enough to prevent one or two players from playing.”
West Ham have enjoyed remarkable away form so far this season, winning at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, but Bilic has warned his players against complacency as they prepare to take on the Premier League’s bottom side.
“Where we made those three away wins means absolutely nothing for Saturday, because if we begin to think it will be easier against Sunderland then we need to stop that,” he added. “We are confident, but we are expecting a tough, tough game.
“Neutrals are expecting us to win the game on Saturday but we have to be fully aware in our approach to the game.
“We’ve watched their games and in some of them they’ve been very unlucky to be fair. Up front they have some good individuals with pace.”