Jarrod Bowen injury: West Ham star joins training ahead of Bayer Leverkusen second leg in huge boost

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

West Ham’s hopes of having Jarrod Bowen back for tomorrow night’s crucial Europa League meeting with Bayer Leverkusen received a major boost this morning as the forward joined the Hammers’ final training session.

Bowen missed last week’s quarter-final first-leg and Sunday’s defeat to Fulham after suffering a back injury in the victory at Wolves earlier this month.

David Moyes is determined to give his top-scorer every chance of featuring in Thursday’s game at the London Stadium and is expected to leave a decision until as late as possible, with the Hammers needing to come from 2-0 against the newly-crowned Bundesliga champions to reach the last-four.

Both Bowen and Kalvin Phillips - who has been sidelined with a hamstring problem - joined their teammates at Rush Green this morning, though they will need to come through the session to have a chance of featuring tomorrow.

Either player’s availability would be a significant plus for Moyes, who is without Lucas Paqueta and Emerson tomorrow night, both through suspension having picked up yellow cards in the first-leg in Germany.

Alphonse Areola is back in contention after a groin problem, but Lukasz Fabianski has been first-choice in Europe, while centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos is expected to miss out after limping off against Fulham. The Greek international did not train on Wednesday.

Despite facing an ominous task against a side unbeaten in 43 matches this term, midfielder Tomas Soucek believes the experience of coming from behind at the same stage against Sevilla two seasons ago offers his side genuine hope of pulling off a miracle.

“We've done it before, so we have to be confident we can do it again," the Czech told the club website.

""We came home and knew it was going to be difficult, because they [Sevilla] were a good side and had won the Europa League three years in a row before that. It was quite tough, but together with the fans we got through it.

"We notice a difference to the fans on European nights, because in the warm-up we feel the atmosphere and that everyone is behind us. We know in European football that the fans are always behind us, even if we are losing.”