West Ham United were expected to welcome back injury-prone duo Andy Carroll and Jack Wilshere for the game against Manchester City.
Manuel Pellegrini is gearing up to take on his old club at the London Stadium for the first time since leaving the Etihad to make way for Pep Guardiola.
City arrive in London as champions and look very much on course to defend their crown.
Pellegrini injury headache easing before City?
Pellegrini has been nursing a Premier League-worst injury list with eight players out, many for the season.
But the Chilean was expected to welcome back injury-prone duo Carroll and Wilshere to the fold for the daunting task of facing City.
It appears Wilshere may not be quite ready, though, if a message from West Ham’s official Twitter account is anything to go by.
Duo were tipped for comeback against City
Posting on Friday West Ham sent out a picture of Wilshere in training accompanied by message using emojis saying ‘Back soon, we pray’.
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) November 23, 2018
That suggests Saturday may come too soon for Wilshere.
It will be hugely frustrating for West Ham fans who were led to believe both Wilshere and Carroll would be ready for first team action after the international break.
Wise decision given Wilshere injury history?
But given Wilshere’s injury history perhaps it is wise not to rush him back before he is ready.
The game against City is very much a free hit for the Hammers.
Anything other than defeat will be a fantastic result.
So giving Wilshere another week of training seems sensible.
West Ham face a run of fixtures where they should be targeting a big points haul before Christmas.
And the need for Wilshere will be more acute during that run.