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Alcaraz nearing return

Roberto Martinez hopes to welcome back defender Antolin Alcaraz to the first-team fold in the next fortnight.

• Blog: Goals guaranteed at Liberty Stadium

The Paraguay international has been absent since he was sent off in August's Capital One Cup win over Nottingham Forest. Alcaraz has since been sidelined by a groin injury that will mean he misses Saturday's game at Martinez's former club Swansea.

But Martinez, who has no other injury worries for the clash at the Liberty Stadium, suggested the 30-year-old could be in contention to face West Ham on October 27.

He told the club's official website: "The only injury concern we have had is with Antolin Alcaraz and these two weeks have been very good in his rehabilitation period. We expect Antolin to come back within the next two weeks because he has already been doing some work with the team and has joined the group a lot earlier than we expected."

Martinez will monitor Jean Beausejour and Maynor Figueroa, who have had long journeys back after representing Chile and Honduras respectively during the international break, before selecting his side.

He praised one of his successors at Swansea for the signings he has made, saying he has been impressed by the arrivals since Michael Laudrup took charge.

He added: "Michael has a clear attraction to players because of the way he does things and his teams are always a real threat in the final third. The recruitment at Swansea has been outstanding what with players like Michu, Pablo Hernandez and Chico Flores coming in.

"To have a striker who has scored the amount of goals that Michu has scored just goes to show that he didn't even need a settling period and he has been very smart piece of business by Michael."

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