Antonio facing four-month Hammers’ injury lay-off
Michail Antonio’s hamstring surgery has been deemed a success, but the West Ham star is still facing a possible four-month stint on the sidelines.
The 29-year-old wideman was forced off after just eight minutes of last Tuesday’s second-round Carabao Cup win at League Two Newport County.
Boss Manuel Pellegrini initially suggested in the aftermath of the game that Antonio could be facing “a couple of weeks” out with one eye on him returning after the current international break.
The Hammers had to wait on the results of a scan, which was delayed by 48 hours because of swelling, and it was revealed that he had suffered a tear.
As a result, Antonio was forced to go under the knife on Tuesday and the estimation is that he will be on the sidelines until January.
It’s not the first time the player, who joined the Hammers from Nottingham Forest in a £7million deal in 2015, has been struck down by hamstring problems.
Antonio was ruled out in 2015 and again last year with similar issues which kept him out of the side for an average of four-and-a-half months.
Therefore, it is likely that Pellegrini will have to muddle through until the New Year with limited attacking options.
The Chilean’s situation has not been helped by the sale of Mexican striker Javier Hernandez to Spanish La Liga outfit Sevilla in a £7m deal ahead of Monday’s European transfer deadline.
Indeed, the inexperienced Xande Silva has since been drafted into the Premier League squad until January.
The 22-year-old Portuguese starlet, who has just recovered from a bowel obstruction, has featured in just one top-flight game for the club, making a ten-minute cameo in a 2-0 defeat against Burnley at Turf Moor last December.
The free agent market remains open to exploit and there are reports suggesting that Hatem Ben Arfa could be targeted to strengthen the attacking options.
The 32-year-old has experience of playing in England having had spells with both Newcastle and Hull City between 2011 and 2015.
Ben Arfa enjoyed a successful stint at Nice, where he scored 18 goals in 37 appearances before being given a chance at Paris Saint-Germain.
He failed to score in 23 games at PSG and eventually left for Rennes, where he made 41 appearances, scoring nine goals last term.
Ben Arfa 18/19 Skills | Rennes 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/sqV6k5Mg3W
— Bahadır (@mudo_poetaa) August 26, 2019
And, while he has undoubted quality, there is a question mark over his attitude which could put off Pellegrini from making a swoop as he tries to create a harmonious squad at the London Stadium.