West Ham suffered a devastating blow with Michail Antonio facing at least a month on the sidelines.
The Hammers’ key man suffered a hamstring injury in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City and analyzes have shown it to be worse than feared.
David Moyes is now set to find himself without one of his most influential players for a long time, starting with Saturday’s trip to Premier League champions Liverpool.
The 30-year-old all-rounder has been in exceptional form in a center-forward role since football’s return in June, after a 100-day hiatus, scoring 11 goals in 13 games.
This season he has played a key role, scoring three times in six Premier League appearances as the Hammers surprised many with their impressive performances.
Moyes’ side had a series of tough games to start the campaign, but they have collected eight points and have improved significantly in recent weeks.
After losing their first two games to Newcastle and Arsenal, West Ham beat Wolves and Leicester to a draw with Tottenham and Man City.
Moyes stressed how important Antonio was when speaking to talkSPORT following the draw with Man City on Saturday, in which he scored his third of the campaign.
He said, “It was a big goal. Micky (Antonio) has become so important, much like Marko Arnautovic was a few years ago when we were here.
“We needed someone to score us goals and play in front so we could get on the pitch. Micky can do it because he’s powerful and fast.
“We have to hope that the injury is not too serious because he is a very good player and he is doing very well.
It is more serious than initially feared, however, and Antonio will be absent for their game against Premier League champions Liverpool on Saturday, as well as a host of other fixtures to come.
You can listen to Liverpool vs West Ham this Saturday live on talkSPORT, kicking off at 5.30pm.