Filed: Friday, 17th March 2017
By: Staff Writer
Diafra Sakho is still some distance from featuring for the first team - despite Slaven Bilic claiming at Christmas that the striker would be absent for "six to eight weeks".
The Senegal international has missed the entire season bar two matches, when he played for an hour against Tottenham and Manchester United last November.
Following his latest 'injury', said to have been sustained after the Manchester United match, Bilic claimed that Sakho would return to action this month.
"It's a big blow for us. It will rule him out for six to eight - maybe 10 - weeks," said Bilic, speaking shortly before Christmas. "We are talking about even March for him to be back."
However with March already half-way through, club medic Stijn Vandebroucke says that Sakho is still some way off making a first team return - and will only begin training with the Under 23s next week, despite having travelled with the first team squad in Dubai last month.
"Diafra is getting stronger and stronger and he will start training with the PL2 squad next week," Vandenbroucke told the club's website.
"We work closely with Academy Director Terry Westley to ensure we can introduce returning players to controlled sessions, and Diaf will train with the PL2 squad for two weeks before he returns to training with the first team."
In other injury news, Angelo Ogbonna's rehabilitation programme is said to be going well. "Angelo has stepped up his rehab and began running on Thursday at Rush Green following the patellar tendon operation he underwent in January," added Vandenbroucke.
"He is still quite some time from a return to full fitness, but the story is positive and the rehab is going as well as we could possibly have hoped."
Meanwhile he also confirmed the news that club captain Mark Noble will be absent for the visit of Champions League quarter finalists Leicester City this weekend.
"Mark picked up a knock in training and passed a fitness test to play against Chelsea," he confirmed. "After a few days of recovery and improvement, he played again at Bournemouth.
"Unfortunately, he picked up another knock in the same area of his body in that game and that took him out. He will also miss Saturday’s game against Leicester City too and a week of rest and rehab will help to prepare him for the three-game week coming up against Hull, Arsenal and Swansea."
West Ham Utd 0-0 Everton [22nd Apr 2017]
Carroll out - but duo set for return [21st Apr 2017]
Collins , Bilic, Carroll & Sakho : Friday's news [21st Apr 2017]
In brief - Wednesday's news round-up [19th Apr 2017]
No Sakho rift, says Bilic [18th Apr 2017]
Sakho , Bilic, Snodgrass & Noble : Saturday's news [15th Apr 2017]
Sakho to miss Sunderland test [14th Apr 2017]
In brief - Monday's news round-up [3rd Apr 2017]
Lanzini, Sakho, Carroll & Noble : Tuesday's news [28th Mar 2017]
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