West Ham injury curse strikes yet again with another key star set to undergo tests

West Ham's manager Slaven Bilic looks dejected

West Ham United's annual injury curse has struck yet again with another key player set to undergo tests after Slaven Bilic lost Aaron Cresswell.

West Ham's Aaron Cresswell in action with Watford's Juan ParedesWest Ham's Aaron Cresswell is out for up to four months

The Hammers are already cursing their luck after key man Cresswell was hurt in a challenge during Saturday’s pre-season victory over German second tier side Karlsruher SC in Austria.

The left-back has been ruled out for up to four months in what is a huge blow to Bilic's plans both defensively and offensively.

West Ham's Manuel Lanzini celebrates scoring their first goalWest Ham's Manuel Lanzini

Lanzini could join Cresswell on sidelines

And now the club's Argentinian star Manuel Lanzini - one of their players of the season in the last campaign - could also face a lengthy spell out after injuring his knee playing for with his national side against Colombia ahead of the Rio Olympics.

That's according to West Ham's head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke in his latest update on the club's official website.

“We are in close contact with Manuel and the AFA (Argentine Football Association), who have started a late-release replacement procedure with the IOC (International Olympic Committee),” Vandenbroucke told whufc.com.

“Until he has been assessed by the IOC, he cannot be replaced, but after this process has been completed we want him to return to England to be assessed by our own medical staff as soon as possible.”

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic with Dimitri Payet as he is substitutedWest Ham manager Slaven Bilic with Dimitri Payet as he is substituted

Hammers cursed?

West Ham United fans are getting all too used to seeing their best players spend long spells out injured and it is becoming something of a curse.

The Hammers seem to have their top stars constantly cut down in their prime or during an exciting run of form.

Take last season, Slaven Bilic's side were third in the Premier League and could do little wrong.

Wins over Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea had the Upton Park faithful in dreamland.

There was even the suggestion from some quarters, including pundits like Jamie Carragher, that West Ham could seriously challenge for a Champions League spot.

But lo and behold, what increasingly seems to be an annual glut of injuries to key players has struck after Bilic lost star man Dimitri Payet for three months, strike duo Enner Valencia and Sakho, key playmaker Lanzini, star defender Winston Reid and Victor Moses all at the same time.

The club somehow managed to survive a run of eight games without too much damage and a series of draws but ended up finishing seventh - just four points off the Champions League places... leaving fans to wonder what might have been.

West Ham United's Dean Ashton in action against Blackburn Rovers' Steven Reid (R)Cut down in his prime: West Ham United's Dean Ashton

Hammers fans used to disappointment

As frustrating as it is, Hammers fans are battle hardened when it comes to dealing with the disappointment of injuries to their best players.

Dean Ashton cost West Ham a then club record £7.25 million from Norwich City back in 2006 - as reported at the time by BBC Sport.

He was a long-term investment and very much in the Alan Shearer mould as his form for the club subsequently proved.

But three years later and after several attempts at a comeback following a serious injury while in training with England, Ashton was forced to retire due to injury aged just 26.

Jack Collison celebrates scoring the first goal for West Ham United with Freddie Sears and Craig Bellamy (L)Jack Collison celebrates scoring the first goal for West Ham United with Craig Bellamy

Even Icelandic money couldn't break curse

Craig Bellamy, Freddie Ljungberg and Keiron Dyer all spent more time in the treatment room than they did on the pitch after big money moves too under the Icelandic owners.

Like Ashton before him Homegrown Hammer Jack Collison was forced to call time on his career in his mid-20s due to a knee injury.

Then there is Andy Carroll, the perennially injured striker who the club's hopes once again rest on ahead of a new season after the failure to sign a top class striker as of yet.

It is a dangerous position to be in when you consider that in the three seasons since making his move to Upton Park permanent for a club record £18 million, Carroll has made just 56 appearances, scoring 16 goals.

One thing it will do is ensure everyone at the club redoubles their efforts to bring in more signings with the three players brought in all being free transfers so far.

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