Hines means business on his return

West Ham striker Zavon Hines is back and desperate to prove his fitness.

WEST HAM striker Zavon Hines made his long-awaited return for the reserves on Monday night after nearly a year on the sidelines with injury.

The 21-year-old made an excellent impression in the first team at the beginning of last season, scoring the last-minute winner against Aston Villa at Upton Park.

But a knee injury suffered in the 4-0 defeat against Manchester United in December of 2009, needed an operation and Hines has been battling to get fit ever since.

It has been a long and painful process for the youngster, who has three goals in 16 appearances in claret and blue.

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“Quite a few of the boys have helped me in my rehabilitation to be honest,” said Hines following his half hour substitute appearance in the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa reserves.

“I’m close to Junior Stanislas and also Kieron Dyer has helped me a lot.

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“Danny Gabbidon has also helped as he’s been through it all before. I have to say that it was everyone really.”

Hines certainly made an impression in his short time on the pitch, showing he still has the speed and trickery that caused all sorts of problems for Premier League defences last term.

And the England under-21 international confirmed he was happy with his return.

“I’m very pleased to be honest. It’s been a long time, so I was just eager to go. Obviously, like everyone knows, I’ve missed out on a lot and football is in my blood so I just want to play as much as I can. I love football,” he said.

“I feel sharp as it is. It’s just my fitness that needs to get up a bit before I push on, but apart from that, physically and mentally I’m ready to go.

“I’ve been back in training for four or five weeks now so I’m fit but I’m not match-fit, so I’m hoping to play in the next reserve game, get a bit longer and try to push into the first-team squad.”

At a time when West Ham are struggling, that is certainly great news.

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