West Ham United were dealt a blow with the news that Stewart Downing admits as much as 10 weeks of action after suffering a huge cut in his calf.

However, manager Sam Allardyce is pleased to report that the injury is not as severe as initially feared and that the midfielder is more likely to miss around four weeks of action. Even then it will be a huge blow for the team, who are fighting against relegation. West Ham have found it difficult to score goals this campaign and it has largely been due to injury to Andy Carroll.

The striker has played very little football since making the move permanent from Liverpool. He was a £ 15 million signing for the club. It is highly expected that he will return to the starting line-up in the next few weeks. Allardyce would have preferred to have a winger like Downing providing the crosses. Carroll is currently training on his own, as he attempts to build his fitness. The club had high hopes when they signed the striker on a permanent basis after his impressive loan spell last season. He is one of the dark horses to be in the England squad for the World Cup 2014.

“I don’t think it will be that long. We always try not to be too specific about the date of any particular injury. First and foremost it’s about how quickly does the scar heal, does Stewart recover from that and then when he starts training again how does he feel on a day-to-day basis? At this moment in time it’s very difficult to say based on the healing process as we don’t know how long that will be,” said the former Blackburn Rovers manager, whose team has been fighting against relegation from the start of the season.