Slaven Bilic Confirms That Key West Ham Attacking Duo Will Miss Start of the Season
With the new Premier League season just over two weeks away, West Ham are set to start their campaign without two key players.
The Daily Mail report that both Michail Antonio and forward Andy Carroll are set to miss the Hammers' opening fixture away at Manchester United.
After an impressive debut season back with West Ham in 2015/16, Antonio stepped his game up even further last season. In 29 league appearances, he scored nine goals to go with five assists, before his season was cut short by a hamstring injury suffered during a 1-0 win over Swansea City.
This run of success saw Antonio named West Ham's Player of the Season this summer, and his absence will come as a major blow to Slaven Bilic.
That said, the Croatian manager sounded pleased with the English winger's progress during preseason: "Michail [is]...in London...[Antonio] is ahead of the plan. The plan is for him to miss the first game of the season."
The same cannot be said for injury-plagued striker Andy Carroll, however.
The former Newcastle United and Liverpool striker has only managed to play 20 league games once since permanently transferring from Merseyside in 2013. Carroll was sidelined for the majority of last season with knee, and groin concerns.
Bilic was not optimistic about the England international returning to the side any time soon, saying: "Andy is still not able to train with the team but he is working hard at Rush Green with the physios. I am frustrated he cannot play, now he is still injured and it is a big loss for us."
Neither player travelled with the team during West Ham's preseason tour of Austria and Germany. The Hammers opened the tour with a 2-1 win over fellow English club Fulham.
The second game of the tour gets underway later today, with this time the opponents being German side, SV Werder Bremen.