Declan Rice: West Ham boss David Moyes says midfielder closing in on return to first-team action

West Ham manager David Moyes says Declan Rice is getting closer to a return to first-team action; the midfielder has been out with a knee injury; Moyes does not expect Rice to be available for the game against Everton but hopes he will feature in the run-in

Declan Rice has been absent for West Ham with a knee injury
Image: Declan Rice has been absent for West Ham with a knee injury

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is back in training and closing in on a return to action.

The England international has not played since suffering a knee injury at the end of March.

Sunday's game with Everton might be too soon for Rice but boss David Moyes is confident he will play a part in the run-in as West Ham chase a Champions League spot.

"We're getting closer to getting Declan back because we're a week down the line," said Moyes. "He's back on the grass and closing in on it and we'll try and get him back as soon as we can.

"Undoubtedly he's a big miss to us and we'll try and get him back as quickly as we can. I'm just hoping to have him available. I'm not going to put any time on it.

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"I'm not trying to bluff anybody but in the same breath, I've got to be really wary of it. He is so important for us, we have to get him back as quickly as we can.

"We need him, he can make the difference in the games and there's a big game coming up this weekend for a starter."

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West Ham face Moyes' former club at the London Stadium with both sides looking to qualify for Europe next season.

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from West Ham's win against Burnley in the Premier League

The Hammers are fifth in the table and just three points off the top four, while Carlo Ancelotti's side are eighth, six points behind West Ham with a game in hand.

"I've got great respect for Carlo (Ancelotti), I've got great respect for Everton as a football club so all those things make it a big day," added Moyes.

"We both know that we're both fighting for a spot in Europe. Probably somewhere along the line someone is going to miss out by the looks of it but I'm hoping that here at West Ham we can make it and we continue to try and play well and put in good performances which give us that chance."

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