West Ham United centre back Winston Reid is set to return to action with the Hammers’ Under-23s on Friday night, according to the Evening Standard.
The newspaper claims that the New Zealand international, who hasn’t been seen since March 2018 due to injury, is likely to face Middlesbrough away.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini is thought to be taking the 31-year-old’s recovery from injury slowly, and he has been following an individual training plan as a result.
Reid featured three times in pre season for the Irons, and is now set for a taste of competitive action – albeit at U23 level.
It’ll be good to see Reid back in action, and it’s right that he’s doing it with the U23s. There’s no need to rush him back into the first team set up, tempting as it might be. To be fair, Pellegrini has a solid-looking centre back partnership at the moment with Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna excelling alongside one another this term. Fabian Balbuena is also there to serve as back up. So there’s no pressing need for Reid to come back into the first team, and so Pellegrini can afford to ease him back in. Playing for the U23s will be an important step in his recovery and will be a real marker for how close he is to being ready to return to the senior side. Ideally, in the Premier League, you want four quality centre backs. Liverpool have it, while Manchester City have already been undone by not having that depth. If Reid can get back to full fitness then West Ham will have a fine quartet of centre halves. That will be a real bonus for the manager moving forward.