Last Updated: Fri, 15 Nov 2013 16:26
French international Alou Diarra is targeting a quicker than expected return from knee surgery and could be available next weekend.
After coming through 90 minutes of reserve team action this week, Diarra, who joined the Hammers in 2012 and spent most of last season on loan at Rennes, believes he is closing in on a first-team recall.
The midfielder was expected to be ruled out for the season after sustaining the injury in a Capital One Cup clash with Cheltenham but he is now closing in on a comeback which will be a welcome boost to boss Sam Allardyce.
Diarra told the club's website: "I will train hard every day to try to play in the Premier League. Maybe I will be involved against Chelsea. I hope I will be ready but it is up to the manager.
"I am not feeling 100 per cent just yet but my knee is feeling stable and stronger. With every training session I will get better and I am happy to be playing because it was eight hard weeks.
"I was very unlucky because I did a good pre-season but football is like that. I must accept my injury and I have worked hard to come back. Now I'm on the pitch and I am available for the team."
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