Hitzlsperger aiming for February return

SUMMER signing Thomas Hitzlsperger is confident of making his long-awaited West Ham debut in February 2011.

The 28-year-old moved to Upton Park from Lazio on a free transfer in June, but after picking up a thigh injury in pre-season the former Aston Villa midfielder has been on the treatment table ever since.

Hitzlsperger flew to his native Germany for surgery in October and has been recuperating there ever since, but returned to London this week and is confident of pulling on the claret and blue early next year.

“I’m quite optimistic I’ll be able to play in February,” he said.

“Things could obviously happen in between. But I’m just hoping I will continue making the same progress over the next two months and I’ll be back in February.”