New arrival Patrice Evra has a "chance" of making a swift debut for West Ham United in their Premier League clash with Watford this weekend, according to manager David Moyes, who insists he has no concerns about the controversial manner of the experienced left-back's departure from Marseille.
Former Manchester United defender and free agent Evra secured a surprise return to England on Wednesday (7 February), signing a short-term deal with the Hammers until the end of the season to compete with Aaron Cresswell, as Arthur Masuaku serves a six-game suspension for spitting.
That ended three months in the wilderness for the ex-French international, who was sacked by Ligue 1 outfit Marseille in November and handed a ban from Uefa competition after kicking out at a supporter he claimed was abusing him before a Europa League tie against Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal.
Asked during his pre-match press conference if Evra could feature straightaway against Watford at London Stadium despite that recent lack of football, Moyes, per football.london, responded: "Yes, there is a chance. He's not far away in my eyes as he has been training.
"He played in November, he's no different from someone whose had a long injury so getting back playing quickly is the best thing you can do."
Moyes added that he had no worries at all about how things ended for the 36-year-old at Marseille, insisting that it "shows that he will stand up for himself and won't take anything".
He added: "When he told me what the supporter said to him, I'd have had no complaints."
Moyes reiterated that his own West Ham future would be discussed at the end of the season after a week in which the club issued an official statement to deny reports from The Telegraph that he was unlikely to stay on beyond then regardless of whether or not he kept them in the top-flight.
Following a first league defeat since 23 December at Brighton & Hove Albion, the East Londoners head into Saturday's meeting with Watford sitting 12th in the table and only three points above the drop zone as practically the entire bottom half scrap to avoid relegation.
West Ham could crucially have Marko Arnautovic back for that fixture after the Austrian forward missed the last three matches with a hamstring injury. Michail Antonio has similarly stepped up his training regime over recent days, but Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carroll and Edimilson Fernandes remain sidelined and Winston Reid is dealing with a throat infection.
"We are getting people back, getting folk a bit closer to fitness. Michail Antonio has done more training, so has Marko Arnautovic, but hopefully we are getting much closer to having players available," Moyes said.
Quizzed if Arnautovic would be ready to face Watford, he simply replied: "Getting closer."
Pedro Obiang, meanwhile, remains in Barcelona after undergoing surgery to correct a tear to his medial collateral ligament suffered in the shock FA Cup defeat to Wigan Athletic last month.
"Hopefully it might not be the season but he has had a repair to his medial ligament and more than likely he will be out for most of the season, who knows, we might get him back before the end but probably not," Moyes said of the Spanish midfielder.