West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed that defender Angelo Ogbonna will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury.
The 28-year-old requires surgery on his knee after battling the problem for several months while trying to help the club climb to the table.
Ogbonna has played in 19 of West Ham’s 22 Premier League games so far but he has now been told to rest after the club brought in Jose Fonte from Southampton on Friday night.
He played in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Middlesbrough, a victory that enabled them to move up to 10th in the Premier League table.
Two goals from Andy Carroll and a strike from Jonathan Calleri secured all three points but Ogbonna will now spend the next few months on the sidelines.
Confirming the injury, Bilic told reporters: “I have to praise Angelo Ogbonna, because he has played the whole season with an injury.
“He needs an operation on his knee to be fit long-term, and it was supposed to be a couple of weeks [ago] but we asked him to play.”
Bilic will now get the chance to work with Fonte before their next game, with the FA Cup fourth round fixtures allowing the Hammers to have a short break.
Fonte is expected to line up in defence against Manchester City on February 1 and Winston Reid could partner him going forward.
Bilic’s side are priced at 5.50 to win the match, with the draw 4.00, while City are 1.57 favourites.