The England midfielder has not played since sustaining a knee injury in late March, which left his role in West Ham’s race for a top-four spot up in the air.
Sunday’s home match against Everton looks set to come too soon for Rice, but coach David Moyes has said the 22-year-old will be involved in the run-in for the fifth-placed Hammers.
“We’re getting closer to getting Declan back, because we’re a week down the line,” Moyes said on Friday. “He’s back on the grass and closing in on it and we’ll try and get him back as soon as we can.
“Undoubtedly he’s a big miss to us and we’ll try and get him back as quickly as we can. I’m just hoping to have him available. I’m not going put any time on it.
“I’m not trying to bluff anybody, but in the same breath I’ve got to be really wary of it. He is so important for us, we have to get him back as quickly as we can.
“We need him, he can make the difference in the games and there’s a big game coming up this weekend for a starter.”
Rice will be keen to get as much game time as possible in West Ham’s remaining three fixtures after the Everton tie, with a place in the England squad at this summer’s rescheduled Euros looking likely for the midfielder.
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