Reid eager to put injury nightmare firmly behind him
West Ham defender Winston Reid hopes he's finally ready to return to action full-time after 18 months on the sidelines.
The 31-year-old hasn’t played in a competitive fixture in the 525 days since suffering a serious knee injury last March and it has been a long road back for the central defender.
Having missed the entire 2018/19 season, the second-longest serving player at the Hammers had looked set to return at the start of this term having featured in pre-season.
A minor setback forced Reid to go under the knife again and as a result, he’s still to play for the east London outfit, aside from a handful of run out for the Under-23s.
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Despite his lack of action, Reid has been called up to the New Zealand squad for Thursday’s international friendly against the Republic of Ireland.
The clash at the Aviva Stadium will be the Kiwi’s most high-profile game since his injury and he will captain the All Whites against the Irish.
Reid is eagerly anticipating his big comeback on Thursday and has everything crossed that he’s finally closed a difficult chapter in his career.
“I’ve been fortunate enough throughout my career not to have too many serious injuries. Unfortunately, I caught one 18 months ago,” said Reid.
“Hopefully I’ve crossed that bridge now and I’m just looking forward to regaining full fitness. It’s taken a long time, hopefully we’re there.”
Reid’s return to fitness could prove timely for a West Ham side that has struggled defensively in recent matches.
The loss of first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to a serious injury has clearly unsettled the backline and his replacement, Roberto Jimenez, has found it tough to fill his shoes, conceding 16 goals in eight appearances.
The return of an experienced campaigner like Reid might bring a calming influence to the Hammers and he’ll hope to get his chance after the international break if he can prove his fitness with New Zealand.