West Ham defender Winston Reid was previously reported to be pencilled in to play for the under-23s against Cheltenham in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday but the enforcer was nowhere to be seen when the team news broke.
The reliable Claret & Hugh reported at the start of October that the experienced centre-back was scheduled to face the League Two side and play his first competitive game for over a year.
The Hammers outlet restated that Tuesday’s game was when Reid was scheduled to return as on the Monday before the match, but it seems something stopped this report coming to fruition.
West Ham released the full line-up on their website for the clash with Cheltenham, alongside explaining that two players in their squad could be over 21-years-old based on the rules of the competition, yet Reid wasn’t even on the bench.
Claret & Hugh’s report did previously insist that the Hammers staff were being careful with Reid over his return to action, and the fact he missed Tuesday’s clash is a clear indication they’re taking no risks as he didn’t even take a place on the bench.
The Hammers outlet did state if a problem arises that could stop Reid featuring, but as of yet nothing has been reported, so you have to think the London club have just opted to air on the side of caution.
This is very smart of West Ham as the 31-year-old could easily have a setback if he returns too soon, seeing as he has been stuck on the sidelines for over 484 days with his current knee injury. (Source: Transfermarkt)
The 31-year-old’s last game for the Hammers was the 4-1 loss to Swansea City in March 2018, and it’s been so long, it’s easy to forget how useful he could be to Manuel Pellegrini if he got fit again.
In his last relatively injury-free season, the 2016/17 campaign, Reid impressively averaged 1.1 tackles per game as well as 2.7 interceptions to be a rock at the back for the Hammers across 30 league outings, so when you consider that and his experience it’s easy to see how he’d be useful cover and a good option to call upon from the bench. (Source: WhoScored)
However, based on him missing Tuesday clash, it sadly looks like the wait for Reid’s return to action and potential return to the senior side thereafter is still a way off.