By Danny Wright

13th Aug, 2017 | 12:38pm

This is when I can return: West Ham star confirms major injury boost

By Danny Wright

West Ham star Michail Antonio has confirmed that he should be fit to return to first-team action in time for next weekend’s trip to Southampton.

The 27-year-old has been sidelined since early April with a serious hamstring injury which has seen his fitness routine hampered over the pre-season schedule.

Antonio is seen as a key player at the London Stadium and it will no doubt be a major boost to manager Slaven Bilic and the clubs’ supporters to have him back in the side.

The winger has since been training with the club’s Under-23 side and has made it clear how important it was to hook up with the youngsters in order to step up his recovery to full fitness.

“I’m not far [off full fitness],” said Antonio on MOTD2 Extra on Sunday, as shown in a video on Match of the Day’s official Twitter account. “I trained with the Under-23s two weeks ago and I trained with the first-team this week.

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“I managed to play in the Under-23s match on Friday, so I should be available selection next week if I am selected.”

West Ham kick off their Premier League season with a trip to Manchester United on Sunday.

Although Antonio will definitely miss that game, Bilic has been handed multiple fitness boosts ahead of the visit to Old Trafford with Diafra Sakho, Winston Reid, Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang all likely to earn a spot in the squad after recent injuries and knocks.

In what was an injury hit season for the Irons last time out, Antonio proved his importance to the side as he scored nine goals and supplied five assists in 37 appearances across all competitions.

In other West Ham news, co-owner David Gold has ruled this summer signing out of the trip to Man United.

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