By George Brooks
West Ham defender Jose Fonte says he will come back stronger after undergoing ankle surgery on Monday.
The 33-year-old suffered the injury in the second half of the 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on October 28.
The new West Ham boss David Moyes will be without Fonte until at least the New Year, with the defender expected to be out for two to three months.
However, the Portugal international is remaining upbeat and insists he is in good hands.
“Now I’ve had the surgery, I will have to wear a cast for two weeks, then a boot for two weeks and finally a brace for two weeks, so that’s six weeks,” Fonte told the club’s official website.
“Then after that it’s getting back my fitness levels. I’m not scared of working hard, so I’ll put the hard work in.
“We have great physios and great doctors at the club, so we’ll be working hard together to be back stronger and fresher.”
Fonte joined the Hammers from Premier League rivals Southampton on a two-and-a-half-year deal back in January and endured a tough start to life in east London.
However, he has been one of the club’s best defenders this season and will be a big miss for David Moyes over the festive period.
The Hammers have Premier League matches against Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham all in the month of December.
They also have an EFL Cup quarter-final to look forward to against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
West Ham are currently third from bottom in the Premier League table after Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Liverpool.
The Hammers face Watford at Vicarage Road in Moyes’ first game in charge after the international break on November 19.
In other West Ham news, Slaven Bilic has spoken out for the first time since his sacking as Hammers boss.