West Ham United defender Winston Reid is confident of being fit in time for the London derby against Chelsea despite limping off during the FA Cup quarter-final draw with Manchester United. The New Zealand international returned to the Hammers first team at Old Trafford after recovering from a hamstring injury, despite only having trained once in the build-up to the game.
Reid lasted 62 minutes before being replaced by Pedro Obiang and looked in some discomfort as he limped to the touchline – raising fears he had suffered a recurrence of the hamstring problem. Prior to the 1-1 draw with United, Reid had been sidelined since February's win over Liverpool.
However, despite the fitness concerns Reid, 27, is set to retain his place in the West Ham team for the trip to Chelsea on Saturday (19 March) as the club hunt down a Champions League place. Fourth placed Manchester City's draw at Norwich City leaves the door open for Slaven Bilic's side and Reid's presence in the team is likely to be key to the club's hopes of a top-four finish.
"I felt a cramp in the area, but I didn't pull the hamstring or anything like that," he said according to London 24. "I just got the most out of the game that I could. It was great to be back out there and now with a good week's training, hopefully I will be better for the match at Chelsea.
"I had a conversation with the manager about things and at the end of the day he said that we will have to see how I feel," the West Ham centre-back added on his surprise first team return. "I felt all right out there. I sort of knew what I had to do out there, just keep it simple and talk with the other guys and make sure we didn't concede, while letting the other players do their magic."
While West Ham were in the FA Cup action, they were handed a glimmer of hope of reaching Europe's premier club competition after City dropped points at Norwich. Just two points separate them from fourth and with Manuel Pellegrini's team not playing until the Manchester derby against United on Sunday [20 March] Bilic's team can temporarily put themselves in the box seat with a first top flight win at Chelsea since 2002.