Hot on the heels of losing Stewart Downing back to Boro and Colin Healy to injury, Tommy Butler and Jason McAteer say they are both ready for their comebacks to first team action after long-term layoffs.
Skipper McAteer has been out of action for around three months after a hamstring injury, with his comeback delayed in November by a case of flu. But last night he completed his second 90-minute stint of action in the reserves, and says he’s ready for first team action again.
“I’m feeling strong and fit. I know I’ve said this in the past, but I don’t feel any problems with the injury I’ve had before. I’ve had two 90 minutes in the reserves and we had a full training ground game last week to help some of the lads coming back from injury.
“I’m three or four weeks into this comeback now and I was still able to make strong runs late in the game last night, so I feel OK.
Meanwhile McAteer’s fellow countryman Tommy Butler has also been out of action for around three months after sustaining an ankle injury against Cardiff in September, which required surgery last month.
Manager Mick McCarthy confirmed today that McAteer and Butler will travel with the squad to West Ham, but refused to be drawn on whether or not they will start.
Also a possible for the West Ham game is John Oster, who missed the Coventry game with a hamstring strain.
Paul Thirlwell is set to start in place of Colin Healy.