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Dec 14, 2012

Hammers boosted by Collison return

Injury-hit West Ham have been lifted by the return of midfielder Jack Collison, who has been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery in the summer.

Collison, 24, is back in training and back to full fitness and could take part in the Hammers' game at West Brom on Sunday.

Upton Park boss Sam Allardyce has been hit by injuries to key players including midfielder Mohamed Diame and striker Andy Carroll.

But Wales international Collison, 24, said he was delighted to be back in the picture and added: "It's been frustrating.

"Everyone has jumped to the conclusion that I'm walking wounded and will never be the same again.

"That's not true. I've had surgery, but I'm back as strong as ever and I'm desperate to play in the Prem again."

It is not the first time Collison has been sidelined by a knee problem, having missed almost a year in 2009, but he said he was confident the situation could be addressed.

He explained: "My knee will have to be managed to some extent, but it won't make me any less of a player.

"I want to play on for as long as I can. I met Ray Wilkins recently, and he played into his 40s. He was such an inspiration."

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