West Ham target early new year return for Valencia


West Ham forward Enner Valencia is expected to return from a knee injury early in the new year.

Valencia was taken from the field on a stretcher during West Ham's 1-1 draw against Everton before the international break, less than 20 minutes after replacing Dimitri Payet who suffered an ankle injury.

It was only Valencia's second game back after sustaining a knee injury in July, which kept him out of action for three months.

The Ecuador international subsequently met with a specialist on Monday and he is now set to begin his rehabilitation.

"Valencia was advised that he needs an extended rehabilitation period, which has now begun," West Ham said in a statement on their official website. 

"It is expected that he will be fully recovered by the beginning of the new year."

West Ham also confirmed that Payet does not require surgery on his injury, but the France international is still expected to miss three months.