Hammers assistant coach Billy McKinlay has allayed injury fears over West Ham duo Craig Dawson and Flynn Downes.
West Ham have been beset by a defensive injury crisis to start the new season.
West Ham boss David Moyes has been desperately trying to sign defenders after the long-term injury to Nayef Aguerd, the sale of Issa Diop and injury issues surrounding Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna and even Kurt Zouma (90min).
West Ham entertain Danish side Viborg FF at the London Stadium tonight in the first leg of their Europa Conference League play-off tie.
And the Hammers go into the crucial game without manager Moyes, captain Declan Rice and vice skipper Aaron Cresswell.
Rumours have been circulating in West Ham circles that Dawson’s injury – picked up against Lens – is worse than first feared and he may be out medium to long term.
Moyes said Dawson was ‘coming along’ when asked for an update ahead of the Forest defeat last time out.
So there was concern when it was reported that both Dawson and summer signing Downes missed the pre-Viborg open training session – where media are permitted to attend as per UEFA competition rules.
But there has been some welcome positive news from the club.
New arrival Thilo Kehrer was registered in time to play and the defender has declared he is ready to step up just over 24 hours after signing from PSG.
And coach Billy McKinlay has allayed injury fears over West Ham duo Dawson and Downes.
Standing in for banned Moyes in the pre-Viborg presser, McKinlay explained that Dawson is doing well and Downes had a minor problem that shouldn’t keep him out for the first leg of the crucial tie.
“Craig’s still got a problem with his quad so he’s missed a few weeks so he’s probably a little bit (of a) short term (injury) hopefully not too long,” McKinlay told the press (whufc.com).
“Flynn just had a little issue with his toe but he should be fine, it was just precautionary (that he sat out training), no problem with that.”
So it sounds like Dawson will not be far away and Downes should be ok to make the squad for Viborg.
Whether Downes starts remains to be seen.
But Hammers supporters are certainly keen to get a look at the boyhood West Ham fan.