Kevin Phillips has tipped Declan Rice to return for West Ham against Everton today.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Sunderland and England striker claimed he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the 22-year-old started the clash after a “very encouraging” update from Irons boss David Moyes.
Moyes told club media that the centre-midfielder is “back on the grass and closing in” on a return from a knee injury suffered while on international duty.
Rice has been one West Ham’s star performers this season and has made 32 appearances across all competitions.
Phillips insisted no risks can be taken with the England international ahead of this summer’s Euros.
“Moyes just has to be sensible and I am sure he will be,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.
“West Ham are in such fine form at the moment and they have showed that they can win without Rice. He is a top-class player though and David Moyes will be desperate to get him back in as soon as possible.
“The medical department will make sure he is right before playing him though. They will not want to rush him back and risk him breaking down again. It is a tricky one because they want to finish the season strong and get into the Champions League.
“It is very encouraging that he is back in training though. He will be ready to go I imagine, at least to play half an hour or 45 minutes. He is fit lad anyway. It wouldn’t surprise me if he started.”