West Ham defender McCartney targets West Brom clash for return

The Northern Ireland international has been sidelined since December 9 with a knee ligament injury, but has made recent appearances for the development squad
West Ham defender George McCartney has targeted his team's clash with West Brom on March 30 for a return to first-team action after overcoming a knee injury.

The 31-year-old played his first full game since December in a friendly on Tuesday, and played 45 minutes in the development squad the previous Friday.

McCartney made the bench for the 2-0 loss to Chelsea on Sunday, but hopes to go one better in nine day's time.

McCartney told the club's official website: "It has been a long time out and the last time I played 90 minutes was December. I had a run-out on Friday night and it was good to play the whole game on Tuesday and get a positive result.

"The knee's feeling good. I think I probably need a bit more fitness and a bit more sharpness but that will come with the next few days' training and, hopefully, some more game time.

"I've only been back training for about 10 days to two weeks. The next game's not until the end of March, so that gives me a bit of time to do some more training and fitness work, and I'll be raring to go come the West Brom game.

"To be honest, I was a bit surprised to be on the bench against Chelsea on Sunday. It was nice to get away with the squad again and, hopefully, come the West Brom game, I can be pushing to get back in the team or, if not, try to play some minutes as a substitute. But it's nice to be part of the team again and over the injury I had."