Diafra Sakho has declared himself fit to make his long-awaited return from injury for West Ham.
Slaven Bilic's men have slipped to 14th in the Premier League after a 2-1 loss at Hull City on Saturday extended their run of successive defeats to four.
West Ham released a statement supporting Bilic on Sunday despite the team's poor form and Sakho insists he is ready to make his comeback after four months out to boost his struggling side.
"When I arrived in England, I had a back problem which has been troubling me until now," the striker told West Ham's website. "I needed a back operation, but I kept saying no. I did finally have one in December and now it's much better.
"I feel I'm ready to play. I've already asked to play before, but I think the medical team wanted to protect me, so that I could do a bit more work in the gym and on the training pitch individually. I have now resumed training with the first team and want to play in early April."
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Sakho accepted it has been tough to spend so much time on the sidelines, but he believes an increased understanding of his body has put him in a better position to stay fit.
"It's always hard to work on your own because you're less motivated," Sakho said. "It's mental strength that gives you extra desire and when you see your team-mates out training, you want to give even more. I'm coming to the end of the tunnel, so I think I'm making good progress.
"My body is my work tool now, so I'm trying to work on everything that is good for my body and who's to say I won't carry on playing for another 10 or 12 years? After training I used to head straight home, but now I devote more time to understanding my body and stretching.
"I think it's a good thing. I used to hate it. I didn't want to do it. African players often head straight home after training and we don't make time to see what our bodies need. I think now is a good starting point."
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