Thursday 22 Dec
Updated Thursday 22 Dec 12:23
First Team

Sakho ruled out for considerable period


West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed that Diafra Sakho will be ruled out of action for a considerable period after he underwent surgery on a back injury.

Sakho was forced to miss the start of the season and only returned to action last month when he scored against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

But the Senegal forward has now been forced to have an operation and will miss the Africa Cup of Nations and another large part of the season.

The news comes as a major blow to Bilic who was hoping to see his influential forward back in action in the early part of the New Year.

Bilic said: “He (Sakho) has a back problem and it will rule him out, six-eight weeks, maybe 10 weeks, we are talking about even March for him to be back.

“With Diafra, he was out at the beginning of the season for a long time and when he came back he played a couple of games against Tottenham and Manchester United. We saw how much impact he can have on our game.

“It’s a big blow for us. He’s out - that’s the situation.”

Bilic was asked about the possibility of new players arriving in the January transfer window and with Sakho now ruled out for a lengthy period, the Hammers manager said the Club will be looking to strengthen a couple of positions in the squad.

Bilic added: “Like all the other managers I’m not crazy about the January transfer window but you plan your team in May, June, July and then a lot of things like injuries come up for Sakho.

“We’ve had a few injuries, that’s why the January transfer window is good but I’m not a big friend of big things in January but one player or a couple of players I get to fill a gap with loans until the end of the season or, even better, to find something permanent that is also good.

“So we’re going to try to do a couple of positions. If something really good becomes available then we’re going to try to do it.”