Michail Antonio could miss the rest of the season after scans revealed that the striker’s hamstring injury is worse than first feared, further denting West Ham’s hopes of Champions League qualification.
Antonio limped off during West Ham’s win over Wolves on Monday and has been undergoing tests on the damage to his left hamstring. He is out of the home game against Leicester on Sunday and hopes of a swift return have been dashed after initial assessments, with the 31-year-old expected to be out for four to six weeks.
West Ham are without their influential midfielder Declan Rice for four to six weeks because of a knee injury and were desperate not to lose another key player for a significant period. Although David Moyes struck an optimistic tone after his side climbed to fourth by beating Wolves, it remains to be seen whether Antonio features again this season.
Antonio, who extended his contract until 2023 this season, has struggled with hamstring problems since joining West Ham in 2015. He underwent surgery on hamstring issues in 2017 and 2019.
The former Nottingham Forest forward has become a crucial player for Moyes, scoring seven goals this season, and West Ham do not have another senior striker available after selling Sébastien Haller to Ajax in January. Jarrod Bowen could deputise for Antonio against Leicester.
In better news for Moyes the Italian defender Angelo Ogbonna is close to returning from an ankle injury and the winger Andriy Yarmolenko is close to recovering from a knee injury.