West Ham suffered a devastating blow, with Michael Antonio remaining on the sidelines for at least a month.
The main Hammers player suffered a hamstring injury in a 1-1 draw with Manchester City last weekend and tests showed he was worse than he initially feared.
David Moyes is now preparing to be without one of his most influential players for a long time, from Saturday’s trip to Premier League Liverpool champion.
The 30-year-old has been in great shape in the role of a central striker since football returned in June, after a 100-day hiatus, scoring 11 goals in 13 matches.
This season he played a major role, scoring three times in six matches in the Premier League as the Hammers surprised many with their impressive performances.
Moise’s team played a series of difficult matches to start the season, but has accumulated eight points and has improved dramatically in recent weeks.
After losing their first two games to Newcastle and Arsenal, West Ham beat Wolverhampton and Leicester, and drew with Tottenham and Man City.
Moyes stressed how important Antonio was while speaking to talkSPORT after Saturday’s draw with Manchester City, in which he scored his third goal of the season.
He said, “It was a great goal. Mickey (Antonio) became very important, just like Marco Arnautovic two years ago when we were here.
“We needed someone to score for us and play in the front in a way to help us get on the field. Mickey can do that because he’s strong and fast.”
“We must hope the injury is not very serious because he is a really good player and doing a great job.”
However, it is more serious than initially feared and Antonio will miss their match against Premier League champions Liverpool on Saturday, as well as a host of other upcoming matches.
You can listen to the Liverpool and West Ham match on Saturday Live on talkSPORT, go off at 5:30 pm
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