West Ham boss Sam Allardyce does not expect winger Stewart Downing to be out for ten weeks but is reluctant to be more specific.
Reports have suggested that Downing could be out until March, but Allardyce is optimistic that he will be back before that date.
"I don't think it will be that long," said Allardyce.
"We always try not to be too specific about the date of any particular injury. First and foremost it's about how quickly does the scar heal, does Stewart recover from that and then when he starts training again how does he feel on a day-to-day basis?
"At this moment in time it's very difficult to say based on the healing process as we don't know how long that will be.
"We've done all aspects possible to make sure that the one big thing that is stopped with this is infection. The size and depth of the wound means that the last thing we want after the surgeon stitching him back together is an infection. That would put him back a period of time.
"Hopefully there'll be no infection in there and I think his recovery will be much quicker than ten weeks."
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