West Ham skipper should be fit to face old club Arsenal

Matthew Upson reveals he was taken-off against Newcastle as a precautionary measure.

West Ham skipper Matthew Upson should be fit to face his former side Arsenal at the weekend after revealing he was replaced against Newcastle last Saturday only as a precaution.

Upson was replaced by Herita Ilunga in the 53rd minute and missed the draw at Wolves the week before through injury.

The former Luton man admitted he had trouble with his fitness for some time.

“I had a problem with my upper back for the last three weeks, I’ve been battling it. It kept me out of Saturday (Wolves) and it has imbalanced me a little bit,” he said.

“My hamstring tightened up (against Newcastle). I felt it straight away and I knew if I had to explode or run quickly I may have torn it badly, so as a precaution I had to signal to come off.”

His return would be a boost for boss Avram Grant, with Upson in top form over West Ham’s five-match unbeaten run.

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The England international built up an important partnership with Manuel Da Costa at the heart of the defence and the the former Fiorentina player seemed to struggle after Upson was taken off the pitch.

Hammers striker Frank Nouble could be on the bench for this Saturday’s clash at the Emirates after being recalled from his loan spell at Swansea City.

The former Chelsea forward has returned to his parent club as a precaution, with the fitness of striker Frederic Piquionne in doubt.

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