West Ham's Morocco defender Nayef Aguerd could be fit in time for the World Cup. Image Credit: Twitter / West Ham

London: West Ham United’s Morocco defender Nayef Aguerd is set to return to action soon after having ankle surgery following an injury in a pre-season friendly and could get some games under his belt before the World Cup, manager David Moyes said.

The 26-year-old centre back, who joined West Ham for about 30 million pounds ($33.90 million) from Stade Rennais in the close season, limped off against Scottish side Rangers in July.

“It is really good news that Nayef is on his way back. We brought him in as a key player, so for him to get injured in pre-season is very difficult for us,” Moyes told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League trip to Liverpool.

'Getting close'

“He has started training. He is not fully integrated yet with the (other) players but he is getting close to playing. I think he will definitely feature before the World Cup.” Aguerd made 40 appearances in all competitions for Rennes last season as they finished fourth in Ligue 1 and reached the last 16 of the Europa Conference League.

He has won 25 caps for Morocco since making his debut in 2016. Morocco’s World Cup campaign begins on Nov. 23 when they face Croatia followed by Belgium and Canada in Group F.

Moyes could not give a timeframe on the defender’s return but said he would likely play in Europa Conference League games or for the Under-21s before featuring in Premier League matches.

After losing their first three Premier League games this season, West Ham have recovered and climbed to 12th.