Belfast Telegraph

Mug's game for Valencia

Sam Allardyce has confirmed Enner Valencia is a doubt for Saturday's London derby against Arsenal after cutting his toe on a broken mug.

With the Hammers free of FA Cup commitments having slipped to a 4-0 fourth-round exit at the hands of West Brom, Allardyce took his side off to Dubai for some warm-weather training.

Although the 60-year-old believes the trip could see an upturn in form for West Ham, the toe injury suffered by Valencia upon their return will be seen as another setback.

Valencia required emergency hospital treatment with the club confirming he had suffered a "deep laceration" after stepping on a piece of broken porcelain having dropped a teacup on the floor.

It is the latest injury blow for Allardyce, who is already without fellow forwards Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole, with Winston Reid also missing for the trip to Arsenal.

"Enner has had an accident at home and has cut his big toe quite severely on a broken cup," Allardyce said.

"We're not exactly certain but we think it will be too soon for him be considered for the game at Arsenal on Saturday.

"It was a freak accident at a time when we could have done without it due to our lack of available strikers."

The Hammers confirmed the nature of the accident with a short statement on their website, which read: "Enner Valencia sustained a deep laceration of his big toe on Tuesday evening in an accident at his home.

"The number 31 trod on a piece of teacup, which he had dropped, and the resulting wound required emergency hospital treatment to clean and stitch the wound.

"The forward was joined at hospital by West Ham United medical staff, who oversaw the surgery required."

Valencia has five goals to his name since moving to Upton Park last summer and has reportedly attracted attention from the likes of Chelsea having impressed in his maiden season in England.

But, with Cole and Carroll also sidelined, Allardyce's attacking options consist of top goalscorer Diafra Sakho and recent arrival Nene.

Nene did not travel with his team-mates and nor did Alex Song,who stayed behind whilst the squad travelled to Dubai to work on his own fitness and overcome a slight knee complaint.

But for those who did make the trip, Allardyce is hoping it pays dividends after seeing the Hammers win just once in their last 11 league outings.

"Everyone enjoyed the break," he said.

"The lads enjoyed the quality of the training sessions and what Dubai has to offer. I think a little bit of rest, both mentally and physically, will help us to win more games in the last 10 games of the season. Obviously we're all looking forward to the games and picking up as many points as possible

"I've done it every season for 13, 14 seasons. The research by the LMA shows the benefits of having a break and the evidence shows the risk of injuries decreases."

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