West Ham carefully managing Antonio's game time, says Moyes

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Ham United v Burnley - London Stadium, London, Britain - January 16, 2021 West Ham United's Michail Antonio Pool via REUTERS/Adam Davy

(Reuters) - West Ham United are carefully managing striker Michail Antonio's playing time to avoid a recurrence of his hamstring injury, manager David Moyes said on Monday.

Antonio, who has made five appearances since sustaining the problem in October, scored in West Ham's 1-0 Premier League win at home to Burnley last weekend.

Moyes said the 30-year-old forward has not yet returned to full fitness but could feature in Tuesday's home game against West Bromwich Albion.

"I don't think he is at full tilt at the moment, I think he is doing well, but I know there are another couple of gears for him to go into," Moyes told reporters.

"I think he is protecting himself slightly at the minute but he is an important part of the team for us, as you saw with his goal on Saturday.

"He got us the result, so we have got to be careful with him, but we also want to win games and we want to keep moving forward, so we will try and get Micky ready for the game."

Moyes said he was pleased to see Sam Allardyce return to management and that the former Crystal Palace manager could help relegation-threatened West Brom turn their fortunes around.

"I am really glad to see Big Sam back in football again, he is a great character, he's been a terrific manager wherever he has been," Moyes said.

"He has always recruited well when he has been under pressure and the club he has been at has been under pressure, so... if we get the same Sam then obviously West Brom will do fine. But I hope that is after tomorrow night."

West Ham are ninth in the league standings with 29 points after 18 games, while West Brom are second-bottom with 11 points.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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