- Mark Noble undergoes keyhole surgery to rectify an abdominal injury
- West Ham United captain will miss remainder of 2016/17 Premier League season
- Italy defender Angelo Ogbonna returned from knee injury in Sunday's defeat by Liverpool
Mark Noble has undergone keyhole surgery to rectify an abdominal injury.
The West Ham United captain had the procedure carried out on Saturday, having led the Hammers to Premier League safety at the end of a challenging season.
The skipper had been at his inspirational best in recent weeks, captaining the Hammers to vital victories over Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur. But, speaking ahead of his operation, Noble admitted he had played through the pain barrier to keep Club he loves in the top flight.
“I’ve been playing in pain for three or four months now and, after speaking to the medical department, I decided not to say anything publicly and to keep playing until we were safe in the Premier League,” the No16 confirmed, speaking to Sunday's Official Programme for the visit of Liverpool.
“After the fantastic win against Spurs, we had seen the surgeon the night before and he said I needed the operation pretty urgently, so we decided to get in done as soon as possible.
“It’s been painful, but we had a fantastic win against Swansea that I got through, then I got suspended for a couple of games and I wasn’t going to miss Spurs for the world.
“So, when we beat them, we decided to go ahead with it. Once it’s done, it’s done, but obviously with the pace that we play at and the demands of the Premier League, I didn’t want to miss pre-season, so the surgeon said we should get it done as soon as possible.”
After the fantastic win against Spurs, we had seen the surgeon the night before and he said I needed the operation pretty urgently, so we decided to get in done as soon as possible
Noble is one of five senior West Ham players ruled out of the final game of the 2016/17 season at Burnley through injury. Cheikhou Kouyate also underwent surgery to a long-standing wrist problem after he too played in pain to aid the Hammers’ cause. Meanwhile, Hammer of the Year Michail Antonio is also absent due to a hamstring injury, while Diafra Sakho has a back problem.
Pedro Obiang has also been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign after suffering an ankle injury while making a challenge in the Premier League defeat by Leicester City at London Stadium in March.
On a positive note, Italy centre-half Angelo Ogbonna returned to the matchday squad for Sunday’s Premier League fixture with Liverpool after missing more than three months following knee surgery. The defender, who celebrates his 29th birthday next Tuesday, could make an appearance at Burnley on Sunday.