West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini has provided an encouraging injury update on social media.

On his official Instagram page, he has posted two stories showing that he has returned to light training.

The creative midfielder is currently out with a long-term injury, sustained during international duty.

Lanzini is still a way off returning to first-team action but he is back at the Rush Green training ground.

In his first post, he has taken a selfie and captioned it “good to be back” with the crossed Hammers emoji.

In the second post, there is a video clip of the Argentinian midfield man on the cycling machine as he steps up his rehabilitation.

World Cup dreams dashed

Lanzini’s injury was heartbreaking for West Ham fans, who feared that he would miss the whole 2018/19 season.

But spare a thought for the player, who was six days away from competing for Argentina at the World Cup.

The 25-year-old played a major role in Argentina’s World Cup preparations but was robbed of his chance to represent his country at the major tournament.

Argentina’s national football team players (L-R) defender Marcos Acuna, forward Lionel Messi, midfielder Manuel Lanzini and midfielder Cristian Pavon jog, during a training session in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires on May 23, 2018. – The Argentinian team is training ahead of a friendly match against Haiti to be held on May 29 at “La Bombonera” stadium in Buenos Aires, before departing to Barcelona, to prepare for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. (Photo by JUAN MABROMATA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

Lanzini missed the chance to play alongside some great players like Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero.

While West Ham miss “The Jewel”, Argentina also struggled without him. There was a serious lack of quality in midfield as Jorge Sampaoli’s side bowed out with a whimper.

As well as West Ham, Argentina will also be keeping their tabs on Lanzini’s rehab.

 

How long will Lanzini be out for?

Lanzini suffered an ACL tear in his right knee – one of the most serious injuries for a footballer.

Initially, it looked like it could sideline him for more than a year and rule him out of the 2018/19 season.

But Football.London reports that he is undergoing a six-month rehabilitation programme, which he is halfway through.

Lanzini could be back running around the Christmas and New Year period ahead of his return in 2019.

When he returns is still not clear, but he is hopeful of playing a part before the season ends.

Can he save West Ham?

West Ham sit bottom of the league after four Premier League losses in a row.

The Hammers need Lanzini more than ever, especially with the lack of mobility in midfield.

The 4-cap Argentina international provides West Ham with legs in midfield and the ability to carry the ball forward with pace, meaning and skill.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 13: Manuel Lanzini of West Ham United in action during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Everton at London Stadium on May 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by James Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

Lanzini offers dribbling ability and end product, which is lacking at the moment, although Felipe Anderson could step up.

But the sooner Lanzini is back fit, the better for West Ham.

If the Irons are in a relegation battle with 10 games to go when Lanzini returns, he could the difference between staying up and going down.

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