There are few players in the Premier League who have had to suffer the same kind of horrendous injury record that Winston Reid has over the past couple of years.
The New Zealand international has not featured for West Ham since sustaining a freakish knee injury against Swansea City back in March 2018.
In the 19 months that have followed that incident, there have been false dawns and substantial delays, but it does appear seem as if Reid will be back in contention for a actual action some time soon.
According to a report from Claret & Hugh, citing quotes from Manuel Pellegrini, the 31-year-old could even play for the U23s when they welcome Wolfsburg to Rush Green on Wednesday.
To that end, there has never been any doubt that Reid would play again. His injury was bad, but in no way was it career threatening, and it has always been a matter of when rather than if he would don the claret and blue again.
More uncertain, however, has been the extent to which he would be able to recapture the form he was displaying prior to his absence.
In his last full season before his injury, he was averaging 2.7 interceptions per game, as well as 8.1 clearances, as per Whoscored.
Now, however, after so long on the sidelines, and at the age of 31, there have been questions as to whether Reid can cut it any more.
But according to a separate report from Claret & Hugh, Reid is well on track to make a proper return.
The article reads: “One thing needs to be made clear, that being his career remains on track despite many prophets of doom wailing that it could be over for him.”
Obviously, the proof will be in the pudding, but at the moment, the signs are bright for the Hammers and their defensive colossus.