David Moyes has confirmed that Maxwel Cornet will definitely miss out on West Ham United’s home Premier League fixture against Fulham on Sunday.
Cornet was substituted in the first half of the Irons’ 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend and was also absent for the 1-0 victory away to Anderlecht in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday.
The versatile forward has sustained a calf strain, as the manager revealed in his pre-match press conference, but he is optimistic Cornet will not be out of action for too long.
Sunday’s London derby will, however, come too soon for the 26-year-old, while Moyes offered a further update regarding his squad’s overall wellbeing.
“Maxwel isn't available for the game,” Moyes confirmed. “We think he's got a small calf strain. I don't think it's as bad as maybe we first feared, but it's still gonna keep him out for certainly a few days.
“Hopefully, he’s back next week, but we'll need to see how he is.
“We've got a few knocks and niggles like everybody else when you're the morning after the game on a Thursday and you're getting asked the questions on a Friday. It's very difficult not to say that you've knocks and niggles.
“But hopefully, it will be okay for the time we get around to the game on Sunday.”
The manager made nine changes to his starting XI against Anderlecht on Thursday, with just Craig Dawson and Jarrod Bowen retaining their places in the team from last Saturday’s win over Wolves, and Moyes admitted he wants to give all his players the chance to feature as a busy October schedule takes hold.
“Last night was probably the biggest number of changes we have made in Europe, probably in the last year or two. But it's also because - apart from maybe the Dinamo Zagreb game at home, where we had already qualified in the group – we have probably not made as many changes in the team.
“I think we're beginning to get more players fit. We’re still without [Nayef] Aguerd and we didn't have Cornet last night. But we're beginning to get a lot of the players in the squad back around, a bit of competition for places.
“I always wanted to be able to make sure that the team could change on Thursday nights. You don't see as many changes in your team in the Champions League - on a Tuesday or a Wednesday - to play on a Saturday, for example. But Thursday-Sunday football has a different effect completely on what it does to your squad.
“I think you do need to have enough players in your squad to deal with it and give them opportunities to play."