Ljungberg to return from latest knock

April 16, 2008

West Ham have been given a boost with midfielder Freddie Ljungberg close to full fitness.

The Swede has been missing since suffering a hamstring problem in the 2-1 defeat to Sunderland last month.

There were fears the injury could have sidelined the 31-year-old for the rest of the season and cast a doubt over his involvement in this summer's Euro 2008 finals.

But Ljungberg is on the brink of a return and could feature against Derby this weekend.

'The injury was a little weird, especially since it was quite painful,' said Ljungberg.

'It was quite hard for the medical team to diagnose, but I've been told it was an inflamed nerve. Luckily, the hamstring is not injured, which is great.

'The extra work I put in this winter, in the gym, is the reason I am in good shape. Despite being in some pain due to a nerve-root inflammation, the hamstring itself is fine and there is no sign of a pull or strain.'

Mark Noble and Lucas Neill are also back in full training along with Ljungberg. Neill suffered a twisted ankle in the latter stages against Portsmouth while Noble has made good progress from a hamstring injury.

Both players have missed the last two fixtures but will be in contention for the home game with Derby.