GOALKEEPER Roy Carroll has been ruled out for the next three games after picking up a bizarre training ground injury.
The 27-year-old Hammers keeper was collecting footballs when his studs got caught in the goal-netting, causing the Northern Ireland international to injure his knee.
Pards has recalled on loan goalkeeper Stephen Bywater as cover for the injured Carroll, with Shaka Hislop set to start against Middlesbrough on Sunday.
"It was one of the more unusual injuries," admitted Pards, "but it's one of those things and a bit typical of the run Roy has been having recently, what with his back and then the injury to his thumb.
"His foot got caught in the goal net and he tripped and just tweaked the knee. It's not too bad, but he's certainly likely to miss the next three games.
"It opens the door for Shaka though and I know he's really fired up about getting the chance to show what he can do.
"He's a Hammers legend and a very experienced goalkeeper, so I have no worries at all about putting Shaka in on Sunday.
"I'm sure he'll get a great reception from the crowd and with all his wealth of experience I have no doubt he'll do a good job.
"Shaka's the type of person who will relish the chance to step up to the plate. He'll think he's in for the rest of the year now, he's that type of character. I brought him here to provide top class competition for Roy and that's exactly what he's done.
"Shaka has been great in training and there's no problem with putting him in."
Pards will also be without Jeremie Aliadiere (groin) and Mark Noble (back) for the visit of Steve McClaren's men.
"Both Jeremie and Mark have been working hard with the physios, but won't be back in time for the Middlesbrough game," he explained. "They are likely to miss out next week at Bolton and Liverpool, but should return after that."
The only other player on the injured list for Pards is goalkeeper Jimmy Walker, who continues his comeback from the cruciate knee ligament injury he sustained in the Play-off Final.