Between The Lines: Arnautovic’s injection admission could spell trouble for West Ham United

West Ham United attacker Marko Arnautovic has revealed to Austrian publication Salzburger Nachrichten that he regularly needs injections in his knee in order to cope.

What did he say?

The 29-year-old has opened up before about his knee problems, which have caused him to sit out a few games this season.

Now, while on international duty with Austria, Arnautovic has claimed that he requires weekly injections to keep playing.

The publication also states that the forward is struggling to keep his mind on football due to the issues with his left knee.

“I can not say if I’ll get an injection on Thursday. In the knee, fluid accumulates again and again. Of course, there are people who say they should spare themselves and do nothing for a week, but it’s just difficult.”

Despite having this ongoing injury, the former Stoke City star has played in 10 of the Hammers’ 12 Premier League games, and in that time has scored five goals and registered one assist.

Do West Ham need to find a back-up?

Arnautovic is Manuel Pellegrini’s first choice up front, but the club do already have a handful of options that they can call upon if needs be.

Javier Hernandez has had to fill in for the Austrian this season, while summer signing Lucas Perez is also available to the squad.

However, neither of those two attackers possess the same level of quality and impact as Arnautovic, which suggests that the Hammers should consider dipping into the market in January.

The winter window can sometimes be a difficult time to recruit big-name players, but there are some fringe strikers in the Premier League that could be available.

For example, Danny Welbeck is struggling to get a game at Arsenal, while the likes of Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke are failing to make it into the Liverpool first team.

Given that the injury has not stopped Arnautovic playing completely, then West Ham can afford to take a slight risk on a new signing, particularly if it’s a loan arrangement.

Should West Ham be managing Arnautovic better?

The forward has only missed two league games, despite struggling with his left knee, and in his last two outings he played the full 90 minutes.

The constant need for injections indicate that Arnautovic has not been given enough time to heal properly.

Perhaps the lack of quality lower down in the pecking order is why the striker is being forced to play.

However, it is slightly concerning that he has been given the nod to join up with the Austrian team if he is not at 100% fitness.

In order to get Arnautovic back to his best, West Ham need to give him time to recover.

Recruiting a January signing would help, but pulling him out of international duty would also be beneficial.