Date: 31st October 2019 at 2:00pm
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West Ham United centre back Winston Reid will likely be able to compete for a first team spot come December, according to Claret & Hugh.

The reliable Hammers news source claims that the New Zealand international should finally be fit enough to challenge for the starting XI in just over a month’s time.

The 31-year-old made his long-awaited return from 19 months on the sidelines in West Ham’s Under-23s clash with Wolfsburg B on Wednesday night.

He played 64 minutes and will now train with the first team, while competing in games for the second string over the next month. Provided he suffers no further injury problems, the Hammers stalwart looks set to be back in the first team fray by December.

OPINION

This is fantastic news for Irons boss Manuel Pellegrini, make no mistake. The New Zealander was once the leader of this West Ham defence, part of a terrific spine in the heady early days of former manager Slaven Bilic. However, he missed the entirety of last season and has only just returned for the U23s. So let’s not get to ahead of ourselves by picturing a rock-solid centre back partnership of Reid and Issa Diop lining up alongside one another any time soon. It’s going to take a while for Reid to truly be back involved in the first team picture, which is why it’s a good thing that December has seemingly been tentatively lined up as the time when he may finally challenge for a starting spot once again. However, we need to see him regularly competing for the second string throughout November before he can be trust back into the hectic winter schedule.