Mark Noble faces four-week lay-off

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Rock-bottom West Ham United have been rocked by the news that influential midfielder Mark Noble could be sidelined for a month after undergoing surgery for appendicitis.

The 23-year-old was advised to have the operation after complaining of abdominal pains and was taken to hospital to have his appendix removed during an hour-long procedure on Monday evening.

Noble has started all ten of the Hammers' Premier League matches so far this season, finding the net with penalties against Bolton Wanderers and Wolves.

Meanwhile, boss Avram Grant is convinced that his team's recent improved form will soon start to be converted into victories.

He told the club's official website:"No-one is happy with our position but, at this stage of the season, one win can make the picture look so much different.

"We are only in November and we know we can do it with the matches we have coming up. Many things were very positive at Arsenal. The fighting spirit was good and the players can be proud of the way they played against a very good team.

"We have a long way to go. We will pick out the many positives from that, work hard in training this week and I know we will take points. We had a tough game in midweek but we deserved to win and even though some played extra time and some were just coming back from injury, they kept going.

"I am pleased with their effort. It was just unfortunate there was no time to respond. We tried but from their point of view they scored in the perfect moment. Arsenal are a very good team but we did a very good job tactically."

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