West Ham captain Mark Noble returned to light training on Tuesday, according to Claret and Hugh.
The club source revealed that the midfielder won’t be involved in first-team training just yet, and will continue to undergo one-on-one sessions with a physio – that have been happening for the past week.
Claret and Hugh report that Saturday’s clash with Watford will come too soon for the 32-year-old, who is expected to return the week after for the game against Norwich City.
The ever-present Hammer has yet to play a single minute in the opening two games of the Premier League, after suffering an injury in pre-season.
On or off the pitch, Noble is a massive asset for West Ham to have. The skipper will still be in the changing room offering his experience to every member of the squad, and his presence on the pitch has been sorely missed. Jack Wilshere has stepped into midfield but the reality is that the former Arsenal man is a totally different player to Noble. The England international is an attacking player, who likes to get on the ball and run at the opposition, whereas Noble is a battling enforcer who is there dictate play but offers a strong presence in defence on top of that. This season, Wilshere has only averaged 0.5 tackles per game and has yet to complete a single interception or block – compared to Noble last season who averaged 1.5 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, and 0.4 clearances per game according to WhoScored. West Ham’s defence needs strengthening, and the return of Noble could help with just that.