West Ham talisman Marko Arnautović will miss the club's busy Christmas schedule after being ruled out of action for a month with a hamstring injury.
The Austria international pulled up in his side's 3-1 win over Cardiff City on Tuesday, where two goals from Lucas Pérez and Michail Antonio's strike ensured all three points stayed at London Stadium.
Sky Sports reported news of Arnautović's injury on Thursday, claiming that the forward would miss at least West Ham's next six games in the Premier League. However, he could return in time for West Ham's FA Cup match against Birmingham City.
"We know how important Marko is for our team," West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini said following their match with Cardiff, as quoted by the BBC.
"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."
Arnautović, a Champions League winner following his time at Inter, has made 14 appearances across all competitions so far this season and he currently sits alongside the likes of Álvaro Morata, Romelu Lukaku and Riyad Mahrez in the Premier League goalscoring charts.
Pérez's recent turn of form will offer fans some hope that they can get through the next few weeks without their star striker, although West Ham will demand that Javier Hernández and Andy Carroll start to find their feet.