(Reuters) - West Ham United goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski may require surgery on a torn hip muscle and will be sidelined for at least three months, manager Manuel Pellegrini said on Thursday.
Fabianski, 34, sustained the injury while taking a goal kick in the 2-2 draw at Bournemouth last weekend, forcing Pellegrini to substitute him for close-season recruit Roberto Jimenez who made his Premier League debut.
“The staff will decide probably today or tomorrow whether he (Fabianski) will have surgery on his muscle or he will recover without surgery,” Pellegrini told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s London derby against Crystal Palace.
“But I think in both cases, less than three months will be difficult for Lukasz to return.”
Fabianski kept three consecutive clean sheets to help West Ham move up to fifth in the standings but Pellegrini said he would not consider signing a free agent as cover for the Poland international.
“For the moment we have Roberto as a goalkeeper and I trust a lot in him,” Pellegrini added. “I’m confident he will have a good performance.
“Also David Martin is a goalkeeper with experience in the league. So, for the moment, we are going to keep things the same way.”
West Ham are currently above three of the Premier League’s so called ‘big six’ — Tottenham Hotspur (sixth), Chelsea (seventh) and Manchester United (10th) — in the standings with 12 points from seven games.
However, Chilean Pellegrini said it was far too early in the season to consider a top-six finish that would give them a spot in European competition next season.
“I don’t think this is the moment to make conclusions about other teams,” Pellegrini said. “Maybe the big teams are, in this moment, not as good as everyone expected. We have another 30 games to play, which is a lot of points.
“We must concentrate and try to continue playing in the way we’re playing now, being a solid team in defending and try to continue scoring goals. Then we’ll see which other teams will arrive in the six top positions in the table.
“I always believe. You must have a mentality that reflects the attempt to do it (qualify for Europe). In the way we are playing, we are improving a lot, and that is one of the reasons we believe we can do it.”
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis