West Ham United manager David Moyes has updated the football world on his team’s injury situation ahead of the Premier League trip to Stamford Bridge to face Antonio Conte’s fifth-placed Chelsea.
Ex-England winger Michail Antonio was injured during last weekend’s first win in nearly two months over Southampton at the London Stadium last Saturday, leaving the field after just six minutes.
Here is what his gaffer Moyes had to say about his condition, speaking in his Pre-Chelsea Press Conference at Rush Green Training Ground on Friday afternoon,
“He’s going to have an operation on his hamstring and the biggest thing now is to get him ready for next season. We’ll miss his great strength and pace,” proclaimed the former Manchester United boss.
“He picked up a hamstring injury at the end of last season and has never really recovered from it. He’s had some big injuries since I’ve been here.”
“He’s a big miss for us because he’s someone that we need. He’s got great strength and pace and we’ll miss him between now and the end of the season.
“Look, it is what it is and we have to get on with it. He’s a miss for us, and we just have to hope that we can get him back for the start of next year.”
The attacker, who had scored two goals in his last three outings at the time of his injury, has picked up a season-ending hamstring injury for the second campaign in succession, doing so just a few weeks earlier this time around.
The hamstring tear has also put paid to Antonio’s hopes of going to the FIFA World Cup with Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions, but one Hammer that is expected to be there should he stay fit is midfielder Manuel Lanzini.
The Argentine also has three strikes this term in Claret & Blue, however, his influence has been felt greatly ever since he arrived in East London at the start of the 2015/2016 season, winning 2016/2017 Players’ Player of the Year among other awards.
Having forced his way back into Jorge Sampaoli’s Argentina squad and scoring his first goal in white and blue in the friendly win over Italy and the Etihad Stadium, he picked up a knock.
Lanzini failed a late fitness test to miss the triumph over Mark Hughes’ men this weekend, although, will he be back in time to travel to the Bridge in a crucial London derby?
“He’s got a medial ligament injury. He’s able to run in straight lines at the minute. I wouldn’t completely rule him out but he’s a doubt.”
“Manu is back running, but he was running last week. He’s got a medial ligament injury which affects his turning and twisting.
“I’m hoping for an update on Saturday to see how he is, so I wouldn’t completely rule him out, but at the moment, I’d say he’s a doubt.”
Veteran centre-back James Collins is also a doubt for the clash and a clear miss for the Irons, given the fact that he scored a rare goal the last time he played against the Pensioners away from home.
Striker Andy Carroll is another edging ever-closer to a return, but once again, the journey to face the club he was heavily linked with a move to in January will come too soon for him.
Carroll, Collins, Antonio and Lanzini are currently among the likes of defenders Sam Byram and Winston Reid and defensive midfielder Pedro Obiang on the treatment table.
That trio will be out for much of the East Londoners’ relegation run-in, in which they are trying to avoid dropping down to the Sky Bet Championship after a tricky season on and off the field.
Whilst negative injury news will stack the odds of getting a result against the top four contenders even further against them, the East London outfit will travel to West London with new found confidence.
Despite hanging by a thread over the dreaded drop zone during the International break, a mere point and a place above it, Moyes’ men are now five points clear of 18th in 14th position.
But, can the Hammers take another step towards that magic 40-point safety mark by winning at Stamford Bridge for the first time since September 2002? Think you know? Be sure to find us on Twitter @MooreThanAClub to send us your score predictions for the match and join the pre-game discussion.