By Matt Farr
A club insider has revealed that West Ham midfielder Mark Noble has been hiding a hernia problem from Slaven Bilic for four months – and fans on Twitter have branded him as irresponsible.
The Twitter account Ex-WHU Employee reported on Thursday evening that the 30-year-old is set to miss the last two games of the season as he undergoes a double hernia operation.
However, it was also revealed that Bilic had been completely oblivious to the injury for the last four months, with Noble opting to remain tight-lipped on his problem and play through the pain.
Mark Noble will miss the last two games of the season due to a double hernia operation which he has had for 4 months and kept from Slav
— ExWHUemployee (@ExWHUemployee) May 11, 2017
Ex-WHU Employee, who is a reliable source of Hammers news and has broken a number of stories about the club this season, dropped the bombshell that Noble will now miss the Premier League games against Liverpool and Burnley.
But while some West Ham fans move to applaud Noble for his commitment to the cause, and for the character he has shown in playing through the pain, many others chose to slate him for being irresponsible.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
Very troubling that – for me, more irresponsible than a warrior…
— Christopher Peacock (@Chriswhufc107) May 11, 2017
I can understand Ogbona becouse we did not have any more CB's left. But Noble's… Not a thing to be proud of for me. Irresponsible.
— Guille ⚒ (@guille_armero) May 11, 2017
Players playing while injured seems to be an ongoing thing, this is why we get so many long term injuries.
— James (@Terran__Warrior) May 11, 2017
how do you keep that from the medical team ??
— whufcpaul1 (@whufcpaul1) May 11, 2017
— Ian Taylor (@tayloriw) May 11, 2017
The Hammers already have a number of important players out on the sidelines, including top goalscorer Michail Antonio, Angelo Ogbonna and Cheikhou Kouyate, and their latest setback leaves them short of options.
Noble has been an ever-present figure in the West Ham first-team this season, contributing five goals and two assists from 35 appearances in all competitions.
His longest absence from the matchday squad this term has been just two games, where he missed the matches against Sunderland and Everton last month through suspension.
However, he could have spent a lot more time on the sidelines had he reported the injury to Bilic and the club’s medical staff.
In other West Ham news, Paul Merson has predicted the upcoming clash with Liverpool.