West Ham face an anxious wait after goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi suffered a recurrence of the hip injury that kept him out for three months in the 1-0 defeat by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Fabianski signalled he had a problem as soon as he took a 13th-minute goal-kick and beat the ground in frustration as he sat waiting for Hammers medical staff to treat him.
The Poland international will be assessed over the weekend but with David Martin, whose mistake led to Oli McBurnie’s winner, and the discredited Spanish number two Roberto his only other options, West Ham may need to bring in an additional keeper quickly.
“We will have to see how Lucasz’s injury is, whether it is a bad one or it is just a recurrence and he will be back shortly,” said boss David Moyes. “But bringing someone in is certainly something we will have to look at.”
It is understood the Hammers were intending to bring Darren Randolph back to the club from Middlesbrough, although the 32-year-old is currently out with a thigh injury.
Harsh realities hit home for Moyes
After the satisfaction of starting his second spell as West Ham manager with successive victories and no goals conceded, the harsh reality of life at the wrong end of the Premier League has now hit home for Moyes.
If Bournemouth and Aston Villa win their home games against Watford and Manchester City respectively on Sunday, the Hammers will drop into the relegation zone.
There is an obvious problem at the back, which Fabianski’s injury problems are not helping.
West Ham have kept just three clean sheets in the league since they beat Manchester United at the London Stadium on 22 September.
Only one of them has come at home, where they play three of their next four games, starting against Everton on 18 January.
Against Sheffield United, Moyes went with three central defenders, which he thought worked well, only for them to be undone by Martin’s goal-kick howler which gifted the hosts their winner.
“I thought we needed an extra defender because of the way they play,” he said. “We only started to get a bit stretched when we were chasing the game. It is something I will look at again when I think it is right, although I would maybe look at four at the back when that is right.”
Quite apart from the goalkeeping situation, Moyes also needs to reinforce his midfield and, possibly, re-jig his forward options.
Marouane Fellaini has been mentioned as one target, although that has been vigorously dismissed by club sources.
Moyes is wanting to provide record signing Sebastien Haller with some support though.
The £40m German has scored twice since 5 October and has only managed six this season, enough to be the Hammers’ current top scorer but not the output the club were hoping for when they invested such a huge sum to sign him from Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer.
“I have been quite impressed by Seb in the games he has played,” said Moyes. “He had a great couple of chances in the first half when he got through with his strength but we are trying to get a bit more support around him.”