By Harry Sykes
Slaven Bilic has revealed that Diafra Sakho is desperate to return to the West Ham team after finally making his training comeback on Thursday.
Sakho has made just two appearances all season and has not played since undergoing back surgery after scoring in a Premier League draw at Manchester United in November.
He was back on the training pitch at West Ham’s training headquarters on Thursday and Bilic is hopeful he will be able to return to the side imminently.
However, the Hammers manager ruled Sakho out of playing any part in Saturday’s league encounter against Hull, following his lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“He has been out for a long time now, as he had a back operation, which is not an easy or small injury,” Bilic said of Sakho, as quoted by the official West Ham website. “It was a major one, so he has been training very good and active, first with the medical staff and fitness coaches on an individual basis, then he did some training with the Under-23s.
“Thursday is the first day he is going to train with us without any restrictions, so he is back on a list of fit players for training, but then we have to consider the amount of time that he was out. Hopefully he is going to be back for us very soon, if it continues like this, which is great news for us, but the Hull game comes too early.
“He is very positive and says ‘I want to play, please, please!’ and is pushing in a positive way, which is what we want, but we have to think about his fitness because there is a big difference between training and games, because in training you can control your movement and all that.
“We are going to wait but, as I said, we will see his fitness in the training sessions and push him hard to do everything.”
The return of Sakho finally provides some positive injury news following a series of blows that have hit the team hard in recent weeks as they aim to secure a top-ten finish.
Key trio Winston Reid, Pedro Obiang and Angelo Ogbonna have been ruled out for the season, while leading scorer Michail Antonio is also sidelined.
West Ham are 12th in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s trip to Hull as they aim to increase their haul of 33 points from 29 matches.
In other West Ham team news, an emerging star signed for big money last year is set to be offloaded by Bilic in the summer.