West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic is closing in on a come back to full training following a hamstring injury earlier this month, manager Manuel Pellegrini said on Thursday.The Austria international pulled a hamstring in West Ham's 3-1 Premier League win over Cardiff town on December 4th and missed their consequent victories over Crystal Palace and Fulham.
Arnautovic was expected to be out till the New Year, however Pellegrini said the 29-year-old was earlier than schedule, though Saturday's match against Watford had come too soon for him.
"I think, next week, he will be back operating with the team," Pellegrini told a press conference.
Arnautovic has been a key attacking player for West Ham this season, scoring 5 league goals in thirteen games, however Pellegrini said his team had coped well without the forward.
"When you do not have those players, you have a squad. i'm pleased with the options I've had without Marko. i am not happy concerning the injury however i am pleased with my squad," the Chilean added.
Pellegrini was less positive regarding Jack Wilshere's ankle problem, saying he wasn't sure how long the midfielder would be out or whether he needed surgery.
"We do not know. we need to wait for the medical checkup and we will grasp properly in the next days. however at this moment we can not be certain what he needs."
Pellegrini said West Ham may bolster their squad by signing French midfielder Samir Nasri in January.
The former Arsenal and Manchester city midfielder has been training with the Hammers since last month as he approaches the end of his 18-month doping ban.
"We're going to take the decision next week. Samir is working with us well, he's losing weight, his mentality is to try and have a spot here with the squad."
West Ham are presently ninth in the league on twenty four points, having won their last four matches.