West Ham United are in freefall and Manuel Pellegrini has few options in a bid to change their fortunes.
The Hammers have not won in six and picked up just one point from their last three home games against Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Newcastle.
After a promising start, West Ham have dropped like a stone down to 13th in the Premier League.
And the East Londoners face a daunting run of fixtures over the next two months.
Hammers in freefall
Pellegrini only has the increasingly isolated Sebastien Haller as a proven striker option. The team has looked ponderous, slow and lacking athleticism of late.
So it was music the ears of fans and Pellegrini that the sorely missed Michail Antonio will return to training this week.
According to Hammers website Claret and Hugh, Antonio is expected to rejoin the squad later in the week as he prepares for a post-international break return to action.
Pellegrini taking a calculated risk with Antonio?
Antonio is said to be fully recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered in August.
And Claret and Hugh claim a club insider told them Antonio is “absolutely raring to get back into training.”
It will be some two months ahead of the original anticipated return date of January.
Whether Antonio has healed quickly or is being rushed back only time will tell.
But West Ham’s desperation could well have forced Pellegrini to take a calculated risk on the powerful attacker.
The spark West Ham need to revive season
Pellegrini could give the team a much-needed spark by reintroducing Antonio.
And he can do so safe in the knowledge that should Antonio break down again, the transfer window will be just a month away at worst.
Whether owners David Sullivan and David Gold would make money available for Pellegrini to add new faces is another matter entirely.