Winston Reid
Winston Reid is unlikely to return to action before the New Year. [Reuters]

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce must be wondering when his luck will change after learning that hugely impressive centre-back Winston Reid has been ruled out of action until the New Year with an ankle injury.

The New Zealand international had started every league game this season until he was ruled out at the weekend as West Ham subsequently succumbed to fellow strugglers Norwich City 3-1 at Carrow Road.

Reid has been one of the standout performers for Allardyce this season and his absence will not only be felt by the Hammers, but also by New Zealand who face Mexico in a World Cup play-off double header later this month.

"There's maybe a one per cent chance, if a miracle happens, but apart from that the injury is serious enough that it's going to take a far longer time than two weeks," Reid confirmed to Radio Live.

Reid will be sorely missed at the heart of a West Ham defence that had excelled this season before conceding three to Norwich. The 25-year-old has excelled since joining the club back in 2010 and has become a firm favourite of Allardyce.

The West Ham boss is feeling the pressure as the club sit just above the relegation zone and he received more bad news when it was revealed that Andy Carroll had lost around half-a-stone due to a stomach bug.

Carroll has been working hard to recover from a foot injury and has been spending time out in Belgium trying to get his fitness back.

However, this latest setback could mean Carroll will not return to action for quite some time as he will have to work on his strength and conditioning before he can return to first team training.

That leaves Allardyce without his first choice striker and centre-back as West Ham desperately seek a morale boasting win that would see them move clear of the bottom three.

The east London club have won just two games this season and next up face a difficult home game against Chelsea before playing fellow strugglers Fulham at Upton Park at the end of the month.