Insider ExWHUemployee has claimed that West Ham United defender Craig Dawson has been struggling for fitness throughout all of pre-season – but could make a first appearance of the campaign next weekend.
They were not helped, however, by a number of issues in defence that saw them missing the likes of Dawson, Nayef Aguerd, Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop.
While speaking on The West Ham Way podcast, Ex confirmed that a thigh injury had kept Dawson out of the game. He also stated that while there was hope it wasn’t a long-term issue, the player hasn’t had a full pre-season due to his fitness struggles.
Ex explained: “He has a thigh strain. He’s been struggling throughout pre-season. He hasn’t had a complete pre-season, really.
“The thigh played up again and they didn’t want to risk him, so I’m not sure how long he’s out for. I don’t think it’s long-term.
“I think maybe he might even be in contention for the Forest game. I don’t know factually on that, so I have to find out, but I don’t think it’s a long-term injury, anyway.”
Last season, Dawson had to rely upon painkilling injections to get him through many West Ham games, so all these issues over the summer could be his long-standing problems taking its toll on the centre-back.
If that is the case, fans certainly would have fair reason to be fearful that the defender could be set for a difficult season, having been unable to get himself fit over the summer break.
However, with the likes of Aguerd and Ogbonna also struggling with their own injury issues, David Moyes won’t want to rush Dawson back early and risk him aggravating his thigh even further.