Slaven Bilic has dropped a massive hint that Winston Reid will play a part in West Ham’s Premier League encounter against Everton on Saturday.

Reid limped off with a groin injury early on in the Hammers’ 3-2 defeat to Leicester City on March 19 and it was feared that the New Zealand international would be sidelined for the remainder of the campaign.

But the hugely influential defender is back in training and his fitness has seemingly progressed sufficiently for Bilic to suggest he could feature against Ronald Koemen’s in-form Toffees. Bilic’s confidence that Reid can come up against Everton stems from his history of quick recovery from injuries in the past.

Bilic said: “Yes, Winston is back. He’s been training with the rehab and fitness coaches for a week now and they have done good work on his fitness, so he is back and trained with us starting on Tuesday.

“We know from before that he doesn’t need many games to get his form good, so it’s big for us of course because he’s one of our major players, one of the senators, as I call them. It’s a big boost for us for the remainder of the season. He is one of our best players of the season, so we are expecting him to make our defence more solid.”

Meanwhile, Bilic has reminded Hammers fans that Everton come to the London Stadium in decent form and fighting to finish in a healthy position in the top flight table.

He says it will be “a very difficult game” but asserts that his charges have been unlucky with the way games have panned out of late, adding: “Recently we are playing good at home. OK, we are in the position that we are but, in 2017, in all the games, it was only Manchester City twice and the second half against Arsenal away that you say they were better and they deserved to win.

“All the other games were like 50/50 and we had a chance to win any of those games. I’m talking Bournemouth and Hull away, Leicester, West Brom and Swansea at home, and now the game against Sunderland.

“OK, Everton are going to be tough, they are a good side, they have more than enough points and are highly motivated to finish as high as possible and all that, but we are very confident.”