West Ham United attacker Michail Antonio is not expected to return from injury until Christmas, according to Football Insider.
The reputable football outlet claim that after severely tearing his hamstring in the Carabao Cup victory against Newport County on Tuesday, Antonio is set for a four-month layoff.
Football Insider reported that the swelling was that bad on the forward’s leg, a scan wasn’t able to take place until today (Friday 30th August) with the early suggestion of a Christmas return being made by club medics.
The 29-year-old has featured in all of the Hammers’ first four games of the season so far, starting two and appearing off the bench in the other couple of fixtures.
For the injury to take place in the cup game against Newport, Manuel Pellegrini will surely be kicking himself as he necessarily didn’t need to even start the forward. Of course, the Chilean wanted to avoid a potential banana skin against a side that had beaten Leicester City last season in the cup, and it is easy to say he shouldn’t have started Antonio after he picked up the injury. The reality of the fact is that whoever didn’t play from the beginning against Watford was going to start against Newport and try and stake a claim for a spot against Norwich City on Saturday. Antonio will be a big miss for the Hammers, with his athleticism and power a big trait to have available off the bench. The 29-year-old has won 1.7 aerial battles per game so far this season, averaging the same amount of attempts on goal in the process [Source: WhoScored], and he has also been a goal threat no matter his position under Pellegrini.