West Ham will reportedly be without midfielder Jack Wilshere for the remainder of the season after a fresh setback.
The 27-year-old has not played since December and has made just five senior appearances all season since his summer arrival at the London Stadium.
According to the Sun, the Englishman will now miss the rest of the campaign due to his ankle problem and a specialist is set to rule him out.
It would be a cruel blow for the central midfielder, who was plagued by a spate of injuries during his time with Arsenal and history is repeating itself with the Hammers.
Manuel Pellegrini will have to continue working with what he’s got, as his side try make up ground to try claim an unlikely European finish this season.
Wilshere’s absence should be a lifeline for teammate Pedro Obiang and keep him in the hunt for more first-team minutes.
Declan Rice appears to be an ever-present in the centre of the park, while captain Mark Noble partners him usually and may be given the odd game off due to ageing factors.
Obiang would surely have been pushed further down the pecking order had Wilshere returned, but as a result should remain in contention.
The 26-year-old earned just his second league start of 2019 in the defeat to Manchester City and did show some positive signs.
He’s a midfield enforcer that provides a great work-rate and defensive cover, but may need a strong finish to the season to convince Pellegrini he can be part of his long-term plans.