West Ham handed injury boost ahead of Chelsea, Fulham and Crystal Palace tests
12:48 15 November 2013
2013 Getty Images
Alou Diarra has set his sights on a shock West Ham comeback in next week’s London derby against Chelsea – just three months after undergoing anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
The French midfielder looked set for a long spell on the sidelines when Hammers boss Sam Allardyce revealed he needed surgery after a Capital One Cup clash against Cheltenham.
But Diarra played for the Hammers in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Gillingham this week and says he could make a swift return to competitive action.
West Ham are without a win in their last four league games and Diarra is keen to be involved in a crucial run of fixtures against the Blues, Fulham and Crystal Palace after the international break.
“I am happy to now be doing my job, playing football, and my recovery has been amazingly quick,” Diarra said on West Ham’s official website.
“I am surprised, like everybody, but we’ve taken our time and worked hard together and my knee is steady and I can play.
“Now, I think I am available for the first team. I am not feeling 100 per cent just yet, but my knee is feeling stable and stronger.
“I will train hard every day to try to play in the Premier League. Maybe I will be involved against Chelsea.
“I hope I will be ready, but it is up to the manager.”
Diarra has struggled since his arrival at Upton Park in 2012 and was sent on loan to Ligue 1 side Rennes last season.