Ask any West Ham United fan who they have missed most during an injury-hit season and the universal answer will be Manuel Lanzini.
The brilliant Argentine playmaker suffered a terrible knee injury in training with his national team ahead of last summer’s World Cup in Russia.
He has been out ever since and was expected to miss the entire season.
Lanzini’s creativity has been sorely missed.
‘He feels good’
And he was the first name on what has become a Premier League-worst injury list.
It has hampered Manuel Pellegrini’s plans and the team’s progress.
But there was a welcome boost for the Hammers when Pellegrini revealed Lanzini has returned to training with his squad last week.
“About the injuries, we had the good news that Manu Lanzini started working with the squad,” he told whufc.com.
Lanzini gives long-awaited return the thumbs up
“It’s just the warm-up, but he did his examination and his recovery is in the correct way.
“Of course he is still a few weeks away from playing.
“He is only working part of the warm-up with the squad, but the important thing is he feels good and his knee is in the correct way.”
And Lanzini gave his return the thumbs up in pictures from his return.
Linked away but here to stay?
The attacker was all smiles as he enjoyed being back with the first team being pictured with teammates Javier Hernandez, Adrian and Lucas Perez.
Many believe the injury to Lanzini is the only reason he is still with the Hammers.
He was heavily linked with a big move to Liverpool to replace Philippe Coutinho (The Express).
Can Lanzini get back to his best?
Whether Lanzini can get back to his brilliant best for West Ham remains to be seen.
But his impressive recovery speed bodes well.
Lanzini is expected to be available for a return to match action by March.