Collison delighted after returning to action for West Ham’s U21 side

The 24-year-old is closing in on a return to the first team after being sidelined with a knee injury picked up in the Hammers’ Championship play-off final win over Blackpool in May
West Ham midfielder Jack Collison is happy to have stepped up his comeback from a long-term knee injury after appearing for the club’s Under-21 side.

Collison, 24, was instrumental in the Hammers’ push for promotion and featured in their Championship play-off final win over Blackpool before being forced off through injury.

However, after playing 45 minutes in the Hammers' 3-1 defeat to Norwich on Monday, he is hoping to shake off any rustiness and resume playing again.

"It was great to be back out there again," he told the club’s official website.

"I am obviously a little bit rusty, but I have ticked a box by completing 45 minutes and hopefully it will be onwards and upwards from there.

"It was great to be playing football again, even though it was not the best conditions out there."

The east London outfit currently have a host of players on the sidelines including Andy Carroll and Ricardo Vaz Te, but Collison is in no hurry to rush back to playing and risk further injury.

He concluded: "I will leave that for the manager to decide."