West Ham United centre-back Fabian Balbuena is now set to be sidelined for six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery, according to a reliable journalist.
Sam Inkersole – a West Ham reporter for Football London – has revealed via his personal Twitter account that the 6ft 2in [Transfermarkt] enforcer will be out for two months at the most after having an operation on the meniscus in his knee on Thursday [10 Jan].
The summer signing was due to return for this weekend’s game against Arsenal according to Football London, but he broke down in training – just two days in after coming back from his initial injury.
Also, it was under embargo until later but now seemingly isn't. Fabian Balbuena has had surgery on his meniscus in his knee today and has been ruled out for six to eight weeks. Fredericks & Chicharito also unavailable this weekend. #WHUFC
— Sam Inkersole (@Sam_InkersoleTM) January 10, 2019
What a major blow this is for Manuel Pellegrini. The Hammers manager now only has two fit centre-backs to call upon – Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna – so it is safe to say that the situation is pretty dire at the moment. The fact that he had been set to return for this weekend’s match against Arsenal makes the blow even more harsh – as it was returning to training that clearly aggravated the injury. Nevertheless, Pellegrini will have to cope with the reinforcements he has got right now, and pray that nothing bad happens to either of them in the next two months. The last thing he would want to do is draft somebody out of position into the centre of defence, so that situation must be avoided at all costs. Balbuena is a huge loss for the next two months, but fingers crossed that his absence does not have too much of a negative effect on the team.