Critical West Ham United defender Winston Reid is close to a first-team return but will not feature against Watford in the Premier League on Saturday, manager David Moyes has confirmed.

The Hammers have been without the dominant centre-half for a prolonged period of time, with the London club struggling for numbers at the back.

West Ham fans will be desperate to see Reid fit and ready to play for the Premier League run-in, but the New Zealand international has been ruled out of this weekend’s game against Watford.

“We don’t have an awful lot back in the long term,” Moyes told the Hammers official website.

“We’re getting close to having all the short-term injured back.

“Jose Fonte is back and needs some practice matches and we have a couple of others, Winston Reid one of them, who are close, but others like Pedro and one or two others like Edi Fernandes who are going to be out for longer.”

Reid was sidelined by a groin injury in January but Moyes has stated that the West Ham defender now has a throat infection that will keep him out of the game against Watford.

Declan Rice has been deputising in the enforcer’s absence and put in some positive performances, but the New Zealander’s experience and physicality will be welcome once he is available again.

West Ham will be confident of three points against Watford, despite the club’s injury concerns and the Hornets’ 4-1 win over Chelsea on Monday night.

The Hammers are currently on 27 points and will hope to pick up victories in upcoming games to power the club away from any hint of relegation concern.

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