Marko Arnautovic injury update: Manuel Pellegrini expects West Ham talisman to be out until 2019
Early assessments indicate the Austrian will miss London derbies against Crystal Palace, Fulham and Watford during the busy festive period.
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“Marko will probably be out for around one month. We know how important he is for the team,” Pellegrini said as he prepares his side to take on Palace on Saturday.
“We know how important Marko is for our team. We have too many players injured in a month that we have to play seven games and then in January, six more games.
“But I always have the same answer – we have a squad and it is a chance for another player to demonstrate why they are here.”
The 29-year-old posted pictures of his leg in a straight knee sleeve and said on his Instagram story: “Lets Go I will do everything to be back for my team West Ham Thank you so much for all your messages. I will be out for a while but will do everything to come back strong and quick”.
Arnautovic is West Ham’s top scorer this season with five goals and also has two assists to his name to crown a string of impressive performances.
Despite the injury, Pellegrini still has plenty of in-form attacking options. Javier Hernandez scored twice against Newcastle on Saturday and Lucas Perez achieved the same feat as he began to find his form in east London on Tuesday.
Perez was made to be patient after switching Arsenal for West Ham in the summer transfer window and Pellegrini is delighted with how he has reacted.
“I was very happy with Lucas Perez the other day that he took his chance and scored two goals,” Pellegrini said of the £10m forward.
“I am pleased for him because he is a player that I brought to this team. I have known for years before that he is a good striker, but for different reasons he couldn’t start in other games.
“The important thing is when they have the chance, they take the chance. With the long injury to Marko, Andy Carroll is back now as well and Perez, Javier Hernandez, Xande Silva. I hope that with all of them they will cover the absence of Marko.”