West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that Marko Arnautovic is still battling issues with his knee injury and was not fit to start in his side’s Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham on Wednesday night.
The Hammers were swept aside 3-1 by Spurs at the London Stadium, with Mexican striker Javier Hernandez starting up front in place of Arnautovic.
Speaking at his post-match press conference (as quoted by Football.London), West Ham boss Pellegrini confirmed that Arnautovic was in no fit state to start the match and has been absent from training for most of the week.
He said: “Marko just worked one day during the week so it was too risky to play more than 30 minutes.
“He has no problem but he always has some sort of disturbance with his knee but it is not an injury.”
With their Austrian talisman only coming on before the hour mark, West Ham fell to defeat in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup to Spurs despite naming a relatively strong side.
South Korean winger Son Heung-min scored twice for the north Londoners before Lucas Perez pulled one back for the Hammers to raise hopes of a fightback.
However, his Spanish compatriot Fernando Llorente volleyed home to seal the game and send Spurs into the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup, where they will take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in a mouth-watering north London derby.
Arnautovic’s West Ham side return to Premier League action when they take on Burnley at home on Saturday afternoon, with both sides locked at eight points apiece after their opening ten games.