West Ham United have received a boost and a setback with regards to their injury list, ahead of their match against Arsenal this weekend.

The Hammers have had to ensure a crazy run of absences this season, and while the lengthy number of players on the sidelines is slowly decreasing, they are not fully out of the woods just yet.

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has had to do without the likes of defenders Ryan Fredericks and Fabian Balbuena in recent matches, while Javier Hernandez has also been out too.

It is understood however that the Hammers could have two of those players back for the clash with the Gunners at the London Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.

Fredericks and Hernandez are both believed to be back in training ahead of the contest, and assuming there are no new complications in the lead up to the battle, they are likely to be included in Pellegrini’s squad.

Things are not quite so positive regarding Balbuena, according to a senior source. The Paraguayan defender has been out since the loss to Watford and his injury could now need surgery, which will keep him out for an extended period of time.

“Balbuena has had a setback and might need a small operation. Chicharito and Fredericks are both now in full training” the Claret and Hugh website quote the source as saying.

With the Paraguay international set to be on the sidelines for longer than originally planned, the Hammers will have to continue with Angelo Ogbonna at the heart of their defence, a move which although acceptable, does not offer the same stability as when Balbuena is playing.

It remains to be seen whether Pellegrini is forced back into the transfer market to bolster his options defensively, or if the South American will be able to return soon enough for it to not become a big issue.


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