Fabian Balbuena made his long-awaited comeback from injury by featuring for West Ham’s under-23 team last night.
West Ham’s academy side faced Blackburn Rovers at Dagenham & Redbridge in last night’s Premier League 2 side and Balbuena started.
Balbuena at West Ham
The Paraguay international has been sidelined since before Christmas and the Hammers have missed him at the back.
Balbuena is a popular figure among West Ham fans as he formed a solid partnership at the back with young Frenchman Issa Diop.
The 27-year-old played 18 games and scored once – against Leicester City – as he kept Angelo Ogbonna out of the starting line-up.
After more than two months out of action, Balbuena returned to training recently and has stepped up his recovery with some game time last night.
How did Balbuena do?
Balbuena started for the Hammers alongside Josh Pask, although his central defensive partner was forced off with injury shortly after kick-off.
The General played the first-half and was replaced by Kristijan Belic for the second period.
Balbuena could be back in time for the Cardiff City match, although Manuel Pellegrini might hold him back for one more match.
Here are what West Ham fans said about Balbuena’s return.
It's looking so good for West ham . Balbuena back . I can not remember having quality choices for positions . Am l dreaming ⚒️
— ToneHammer (@tone_hammer) March 4, 2019
Good to see him playing again! Before he was injured he was first choice in central defence also ngside Diop but due to Ogbonna’s recent good form will he go straight back into the side or should he.
I see Johnson is playing too!!
— Oldhammer (@RogerCaxton) March 4, 2019
Welcome back General! Missed ya.
— ⚒⚒TonyCOYI⚒⚒ (@CoyiTony) March 4, 2019
Balbuena returning back to fitness is huge. He was a huge miss when out over the January and February period; hence why we have conceded so many more goals with him out the team. Ogbonna has performed well in recent weeks but nowhere near Balbuena’s level in terms of consistency.
— Josh Verrills (@WestHamJoshV) March 4, 2019
— ⚒ (@ReliableRice) March 4, 2019
The General is back!
— West Ham Matters (@WestHamMatters_) March 4, 2019