Antonio looked at the peak of the powers at the start of the season and was proving a handful for Premier League defenders up and down the country with his strength and speed, scoring three goals in the Hammers’ opening seven games.
But the 30-year-old was forced off with a hamstring problem after finding the net in West Ham’s 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City on October 24 and has been out of action for over a month.
Antonio missed the Irons’ clashes with Liverpool, Fulham and Sheffield United and Sebastien Haller has come in to replace the Englishman up front, scoring at Bramall Lane on Sunday afternoon.
But Antonio is closing in on his first-team return after returning to full training and David Moyes will no doubt be tempted to name the star forward in his starting XI on Monday night.
West Ham can make it three wins from three with victory over Villa at the London Stadium.
Dean Smith’s men started the campaign impressively but have lost three of their last four matches in the top flight and will be desperate to pick up points against their claret and blue rivals.
‘We had hoped to get him on the bench,’ Moyes said at the time.
‘But you need to be careful with hamstrings and we decided it wasn’t worth the risk.’