West Ham furious about knee injury Michail Antonio suffered on Jamaica duty

Michail Antonio - West Ham furious about injury Michail Antonio suffered on Jamaica duty
Antonio played on for ten minutes after suffering a knee injury - Getty Images/Ryan Pierse

West Ham are furious amid fears Michail Antonio has suffered a long-term injury on international duty with Jamaica.

Antonio is flying back to England for a scan as concerns grow that the forward could miss the rest of the season with damage to his medial knee ligament.

The 33-year-old went off late in the first half of Jamaica’s Concacaf Nations League quarter-final against Canada on Saturday night, and was seen limping down the tunnel.

West Ham are understood to be angry because Antonio played for more than 10 minutes after sustaining the injury, while they are also unhappy with the state of the pitch at Kingston’s Independence Park.

Antonio will return for tests and there are hopes that he may only miss up to six weeks with the injury. The worst case scenario is that Antonio could be absent for up to nine months.

Antonio has scored two goals this season and appeared in all of the club’s Premier League matches so far. He has also come on as a substitute in two of the club’s Europa League group matches so far in this campaign.

Jarrod Bowen has also returned to the club after suffering a minor knee injury on international duty with England.

Bowen is West Ham’s leading scorer and did not travel to North Macedonia with Gareth Southgate’s squad for Monday night’s game.

Southgate said: “We felt better to leave him in England so that he can get it properly assessed.

“I don’t think it’s going to be anything serious, but we just didn’t have enough time, and we wouldn’t take a risk with that player.”

More player injuries after Qatar World Cup

The blow to Antonio comes as a study found that injuries to European footballers have became more severe after the winter World Cup in Qatar last year. There has been a jump of nearly 30 per cent in the cost to clubs of having their players sit on the sidelines.

The findings come in a report by City of London insurance firm Howden Group Holdings Ltd., which said clubs in Europe’s leading five leagues suffered a €704.9 million hit from injuries last season, up from €553.6 million the previous campaign. The report calculates the cost of injuries from players’ salaries and the amount of time they are injured.

Teams in the Premier League took the biggest hit, accounting for more than 40 per cent of the cost across the five leagues. In the two months after the World Cup in Qatar, there were 49 injuries in the Premier League, more than in any other top division. Germany’s Bundesliga was second, with 46 injuries.

“The staging of a men’s World Cup in a European winter led to players facing an extra eight days on the sidelines in the second half of the season, compared to the first,” said James Burrows, Howden’s head of sport.

Injuries in October caused players to be out for 11.4 days on average, while January’s injuries led to layoffs of 19.4 days. For consistency, this comparison applied only to players named in World Cup squads.

West Ham return to league action on Saturday with a trip to Burnley.

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