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West Ham United's growing problems have taken another turn for the worse as their season disintegrates.
Defender Winston Reid has received the worst possible news, after being told he could be on the sidelines for a minimum of 10 weeks. With striker Andy Carroll seemingly no closer to a comeback date, things are looking grim.
That takes him up to near the end of January before he can expect to return to a squad which is already down to the bare bones.
Although the Hammers are maintaining a public position that they are "assessing his injury" SportsDirect News can reveal exclusively that he is definitely out for two and a half months and it could be longer.
We understand that he has sustained a ligament injury and will undergo an intensive recovery programme.
Reid himself admitted that he was in trouble in a radio interview on Monday but did not hint at the extent of the problem.
But a contact inside the club told us: "It's a bad one" and there would notbe any quick return.
A source said: "It looks like ten weeks minimum - we certainly need James Collins and James Tomkins to stay fit now."