West Ham United right-back Vladimir Coufal is set to be absent for the Hammers over the course of the coming weeks after the Czech Republic international underwent groin surgery.
The 29-year-old missed last weekend’s 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle with a hernia issue and on Thursday the football club released the following statement: “West Ham United can confirm that Vladimir Coufal has had successful surgery on a groin injury.
“The 29-year-old defender has been troubled by an ongoing problem and, following specialist consultation, underwent an operation in London on Thursday morning.
“Everyone at West Ham United would like to wish Vladimir a full and speedy recovery.”
It’s unknown as to how long the right-back will be absent for, however, it’s a major blow for David Moyes’ side in their push for European qualification.
Since joining the Hammers from Slavia Prague in October 2020, the 29-year-old has been outstanding as the East London outfit finished sixth last season and are on course to compete for another top-six finish.
The Czech has already made 62 appearances for United, registering 11 assists in that period with the club’s rapid progress correlating alongside his tenure in the English capital.
To be in touching distance with the latter stages of the season and not have one of his key defenders available will be a major blow for Moyes, however, the Scotsman does have options to choose from.
29-year-old Ryan Fredericks was picked to take Coufal’s place against Newcastle last Saturday but the defender was withdrawn at half-time having picked up a yellow card and 22-year-old Ben Johnson took his place for the second half.
It’s unclear as to who of the two will be picked to start on Sunday as the Hammers host Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Bruno Lage’s side also chasing European qualification and sit one place below West Ham in seventh.
Moyes’ side’s season could be defined in the coming weeks as after Sunday’s showdown with Wolves, the Irons travel to St.Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday evening to take on Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round as well as league games against Liverpool, Aston Villa and Tottenham as well as two Europa League matches against Sevilla to come before the end of March.