Premiership strugglers West Ham have been struck a devastating blow with the news that star striker Paulo Di Canio has been ruled out for up to two months.

Di Canio sustained the injury during their 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Monday, but despite the initial diagnosis, the Italian vowed to be back within three weeks.

Scans have shown a little cartilage tear, however, and the Italian is flying back to his homeland to have an operation.

“Clearly, until you have a look, you can’t be certain”, said Hammers doctor Ges Steinbergs,

“But these things can take eight weeks or more depending on the situation.”

The talismanic striker has been one of the few successes at West Ham this season as they continue to languish at the bottom of the Premiership.

With manager Glenn Roeder already under pressure due to his team’s poor start to the campaign, news of Di Canio’s injury will not help his side’s chances of climbing out of the relegation zone.