Slaven Bilic says injury-plagued West Ham striker Andy Carroll is “gutted” about his latest setback.
Carroll is back in the Upton Park treatment room yet again and will miss Sunday’s FA Cup fifth-round trip to Blackburn.
The 27-year-old has been beset by injuries since joining the Hammers permanently from Liverpool in 2013, and has started only 31 Premier League matches in 32 months at the club.
The latest blow is a groin problem suffered after coming on as a substitute against Norwich last weekend, although manager Slaven Bilic hopes he will not be sidelined for long this time.
“It’s not a big injury, maybe a couple of weeks,” said Bilic. “It happens to him a lot, he can’t get a proper routine of games. We are gutted, and he is gutted, at the situation.
“He felt it warming up at Norwich but came on and made a huge impact. Afterwards it turned out to be a minor injury – but still an injury.”
Carroll is another addition to a growing casualty list for Bilic, who is also without Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho, leaving January signing Emmanuel Emenike as the only fit recognised striker for the visit to Ewood Park.
The situation is worse at right-back, with Carl Jenkinson, Joey O’Brien and James Tomkins all injured and Sam Byram cup-tied.
However, Manuel Lanzini is back in the squad following six weeks out with a hamstring injury and fellow midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate is fit after concussion.
“In some positions, at right-back and up front, we don’t have many choices,” added Bilic.
“Every week we are getting one player back but losing another one.
“But we aren’t going to rest players, we don’t need to. We didn’t have a midweek game so we will field our strongest side.”
Bilic expects Sakho, who has been out since November with a thigh injury, to be back in training early next week, while centre-half Winston Reid should be fit in time to face Sunderland the following weekend.