Diafra Sakho has revealed he is working tirelessly to recover from injury and get back into competitive action to help West Ham United in their pursuit of securing European football next season.
The 26-year-old arrived at the Boleyn Ground back in 2014 from Metz and the striker managed to score 10 goals in 23 Premier League appearances in his debut season.
A lot was expected from the Senegal international this term but injuries have halted his progress in the English top flight, with just three strikes recorded in 12 league outings.
His absence has been a huge blow to the Hammers, who have had big problems up front with Enner Valencia and Andy Carroll both also spending time on the sidelines.
Sakho is getting closer to making a return to action and reports are suggesting he will feature for the first team before the end of the month.
The Guediawaye-born star says he has been pestering head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke to give him the green light to return but the club are being cautious at the moment.
“I want to play right now. I need to play right now, but Stijn says ‘No, no, I have to wait’,” Sakho said. “I’m working very hard with Stijn and with Eamon, and at home as well.”
The Hammers, who are just a point behind Manchester United in fifth, are 1.80 favourites to defeat the Black Cats, a draw is priced at 3.50 while Sam Allardyce’s men are 4.33 outsiders.