After suffering a hamstring tendon injury against Chelsea, West Ham fear Kurt Zouma will be out for months.
Scans have revealed that the 27-year-old player has hamstring tendon damage, implying a lengthy layoff and a major setback for West Ham’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League this season.
Since his £30 million summer transfer from Chelsea, the French player has been a sensation, limping off during Saturday’s thrilling win over his previous club.
In a statement this morning, West Ham said: “A scan on Monday revealed the damage and the 27-year-old French international defender has already started his recovery programme at Rush Green under the supervision of the medical team.”
The Hammers have refused to give a timeframe for the injury, although there is a chance that the former Chelsea defender will return this season.
The France player was brought in after winning the Champions League with the Blues to give Moyes’ squad some European experience as he looks to move into the top four and challenge for the Europa League crown.
Zouma’s setback comes just over a month after Angelo Ogbonna, another first-choice centre-back, was declared out for the season after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament damage in a win against Liverpool before the November international break.
After starting the season with four defensive alternatives, David Moyes is now down to just Craig Dawson and Issa Diop, and will have to go to the January transfer market to make up the difference.
Burnley defender James Tarkowski has long been an admirer of the Scot, and a loan deal for Man City’s Nathan Ake is being discussed. Moyes intends to bring in a left-footed player to help the back four balance out.
The Hammers also revealed that full-back Ben Johnson suffered a “low-grade” hamstring injury during the loss.