West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna will miss the rest of the season, boss Slaven Bilic has revealed.
The Italian played the whole of his side’s 3-1 win at Middlesbrough on Saturday but will now undergo an operation to solve a long-standing knee injury.
Bilic said the surgery was due to take place a couple of weeks ago but was delayed while they hunted for a replacement, with Jose Fonte arriving from Southampton on Friday.
“Ogbonna played the whole season with an injury,” Bilic told reporters after the match at the Riverside Stadium.
“He needs an operation on his knee to be fit long term. It was supposed to be two weeks ago but I asked him to play a couple of more games and now he’s going to have the operation, which is going to rule him out until the end of the season.
“Fonte was not our target [initially] because we thought that he wasn’t going to be available.
“But as soon as we read that he had problems with Southampton and might be available, we jumped on it straight away.”
Bilic also revealed that captain Mark Noble will have a knee injury assessed after he was taken off 54 minutes into the game at Boro.
He said: “We’ll have to wait, of course, to see the results of the scan.
“He’s like a metronome in the middle of the park – together with [Pedro] Obiang he keeps the team in shape – so to lose him was a blow.
“But it’s all about the squad and the guys who came on, like [Edimilson] Fernandes, like [Jonathan] Calleri, did the job really well.”
Calleri replaced goalscorer Andy Carroll, who had a tight groin.