By Amir Mir
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed midfielder Manuel Lanzini faces up to five weeks on the sidelines after injuring his knee preparing for the Rio Olympics with Argentina.
Bilic announced the news a press conference on Wedneday as the club gear up to host Slovenian side NK Domzale in a Europa League qualifier on Thursday.
“Unfortunately for us, Manuel Lanzini’s injury is a blow,” said Bilic as quoted by the club’s official Twitter account. “It’s not a big injury but he can’t play for the next four or five weeks.”
Here is the post confirming the news of the Argentine’s injury.
SLAVEN: Unfortunately for us, Manuel Lanzini's injury is a blow. It's not a big injury but he can't play for the next four or five weeks.
— West Ham United FC (@whufc_official) August 3, 2016
The injury means Lanzini will miss the start of the Premier League season as well as the second leg of West Ham’s Europa League qualifier against Domzale on Thursday.
Given Bilic’s five-week timeline, the Argentine attacker will also be sidelined for the domestic clashes against Chelsea, Bournemouth and Manchester City, and is a major doubt for the match against Watford immediately after the September international break.
Lanzini is widely regarded as one of West Ham’s outstanding players following an impressive debut campaign after initially arriving on loan from Arabian club Al Jazira last summer.
The move was subsequently made permanent in March, when the 23-year-old signed a four-year contract with the Premier club.
In other West Ham team news, manager Slaven Bilic has given an update on the club’s left-back search.