West Ham United could be without one of their star players for the trip to Leeds United today.
David Moyes did look set to have a full strength West Ham squad available for the trip to face Leeds at Elland Road with the exception of Ryan Fredericks who picked up a knock in the Carabao Cup win over Man United.
And the Argentine admitted he could have several more absentees too.
Moyes dropped something of an injury news bombshell ahead of the game, though, regarding right-back Vladimir Coufal.
The Scot usually keeps West Ham team and injury news a closely guarded secret.
But the Hammers boss has given a worrying update which suggests Coufal – like fellow right-back Fredericks – is struggling with a groin injury.
“To be honest, Vlad has struggled for the last day or two,” Moyes said in his pre-match press conference, as reported by the likes of Claret and Hugh.
“He’s struggled and he’s been in treatment – not on his privates (after the incident involving Nemanja Matic), but in his groin area.”
It will be a big blow should Coufal not be available.
But Ben Johnson has shone in pre-season and in midweek against Man United. So he would likely come in to replace Coufal should he not make it in time to face Leeds.
Many forget that versatile Johnson is actually a right-back. So he would be playing in his natural position.
Coufal has become a key member of this brilliant West Ham side, though.
So it is important he plays if fit enough. But the last thing Moyes will want to do is take any risks which could aggravate the problem and put the Czech full-back out long-term.
Moyes’s comments could be managerial mind games, though.
This time last week, Moyes suggested Said Benrahma was struggling to be fit for the Man United game.
And he ended up starting and scoring for the Hammers.
We can only hope the surprise Coufal update is more of the same.