By Dr Rajpal Brar

29th Mar, 2023 | 7:10pm

We’re delighted to welcome injury expert Dr Rajpal Brar as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the injury situation at West Ham...

West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski will be playing with a face mask if he is named in the starting eleven against Southampton, claims Dr Rajpal Brar.

The injury expert claims that the training intensity will gradually be increased before he’s ready to play for the first team.

While he was back in training for the Hammers before the international break, he has recently been spotted without any protective equipment.

Speaking exclusively with West Ham Zone, Brar, a specialist in Physical Therapy and Sports Scientist, said, “The protocol for a keeper will generally be the same as any other player: gradually progress intensity until they’re able to play in matches.

“The two differences with keepers are they don’t require the overall fitness level of other players and it’s difficult to give them bounce matches as you almost never see a keeper substituted unless it’s due to an injury.

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His definite return date depends on the extent of the injury. Fabianksi would also wear a mask to protect the area.

The Polish keeper has been missing in action for David Moyes’ side since the 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest at the end of February.

He was the preferred goalkeeping option ahead of Alphonse Areola and it remains to be seen if the Frenchman makes way for him again.

Fabianski’s deal at the London Stadium runs out at the end of the season but the club have the option to extend it for another year.