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Pellegrini reveals West Ham pair Lanzini and Nasri are closing in on playing returns

PUBLISHED: 17:06 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:06 20 February 2019

Manuel Lanzini is yet to play for West Ham United this term after suffering an ACL injury while with Argentina last summer (pic: Nick Potts/PA)

Manuel Lanzini is yet to play for West Ham United this term after suffering an ACL injury while with Argentina last summer (pic: Nick Potts/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Hammers boss was speaking to the press ahead of Friday’s game against Cottagers

West Ham United midfielder Samir Nasri (right) has been sidelined by a calf strain, but is close to a return (pic: Yui Mok/PA)West Ham United midfielder Samir Nasri (right) has been sidelined by a calf strain, but is close to a return (pic: Yui Mok/PA)

Manuel Pellegrini has hinted Manuel Lanzini and Samir Nasri are both nearing a return to the pitch ahead of West Ham United’s Premier League clash at home to Fulham on Friday night.

Lanzini has yet to feature this term after suffering an ACL injury while with Argentina ahead of last summer’s World Cup, while recent signing Nasri has missed the past few weeks with a calf strain.

It is unlikely either will be rushed back to first-team action, with the Hammers keen to avoid the duo suffering setbacks in their respective recoveries.

Speaking at his press conference on Wednesday ahead of the Fulham match, the Chilean said: “For this game we have the squad which played most of the games and we will have the squad list on Thursday, and maybe Lanzini and Nasri can be included on that squad list.

“They worked not only on Wednesday, but they worked the complete week. We will talk to the medical staff about whether we can use them.

“All four playmakers in our squad were injured, which is always difficult, so the return of both of them injects more quality into the squad.

“We will analyse Jack Wilshere next week, then we will be clearer about his future.”

West Ham return to action against Fulham this Friday after having last weekend off owing to their early exit from this season’s FA Cup.

Pellegrini took the opportunity to take his side to southern Spain for a spot of warm-weather training and he is confident it will stand the Hammers in good stead over the run-in to the end of the campaign.

“There were a lot of reasons why January was not a good month for us, so we used the time away to get all the players together to re-focus on our project and now we are ready for the end of the season,” he added.

As for Fulham, Pellegrini admits he is surprised their form has not picked up since Claudio Ranieri replaced Slavisa Jokanovic as Cottagers boss in November.

“It’s a difficult moment for him because he arrived in a difficult situation in the table and with a squad he did not choose,” said the former Real Madrid boss.

“They have 12 games more and we cannot think they are a team which will be relegated and will keep fighting until the end of the season.”

“You have to be inside Fulham to know why they haven’t won more games, so Claudio will know the reasons better than me.”

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