George McCartney is preparing to make his return to first team action against West Brom next weekend.

The Northern Irish international has been out since December after picking up a knee ligament injury in training but completed a full 90 minutes in Tuesday’s friendly win over a QPR XI at Upton Park.

And, although admitting he’s still not quite 100% match fit, he’ll be ready to feature in the home fixture against the Baggies on March 30.

He told “The knee’s feeling good. I think I probably need a bit more fitness and a bit more sharpness but that will come with the next few days’ training and hopefully some more game time.

“I’ve only been back in training for about ten days to two weeks. The next game’s not until the end of March so that gives me a bit more time to do some more training, more fitness work and I’ll be raring to go come the West Brom game.”

McCartney’s involment for a West Ham XI on Tuesday has also given the defender the belief that the youngsters coming through the Development  Squad at the moment are edging closer to first team call-ups.

“Blair [Turgott] came up with a very good hat-trick and I think you would be hard pushed to find three better goals,” he explained.

“I know we had three or four first-teamers out there, but there were a few young lads who did themselves justice.”