Belfast Telegraph

Keane raring to return

Robbie Keane has spoken of his frustration at spending the last five weeks on the sidelines with a thigh injury.

Keane hit the ground running at West Ham, scoring on his debut, but sustained the injury in training and only made his comeback off the bench in Sunday's defeat at Stoke before scoring in a hour-long appearance in the reserves' 4-2 victory against Newcastle on Tuesday night.

"The injury is fine now," Keane said on West Ham's official website. "It has obviously been frustrating. You come to a new club and you want to play as soon as possible and you get injured. It is nice to get back and be able to get another 60 minutes. I am looking forward now to pushing on."

He added: "It is always nice to score whether it is a reserve game or first-team game but the most important thing for me was getting as many minutes as I could under my belt."

Keane will now hope to continue his recovery by playing in the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 qualifier with Macedonia a week on Saturday, and the friendly against Uruguay the following Tuesday.

He will not be available for West Ham's Barclays Premier League match against Tottenham this weekend under the terms of the loan agreement with his parent club, but could start the Hammers' next game with Manchester United at Upton Park on April 2.

But with Demba Ba and Carlton Cole both finding form in his absence, Keane concedes he may find it hard to push his way back into Avram Grant's starting XI.

"It would be nice (to play against United) but it is up to the manager," Keane added.

"The lads have been doing tremendously well, so first of all I have to work hard to get back in the team. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later."

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