Slaven Bilic has confirmed James Tomkins will miss West Ham United's FA Cup fourth round replay against Liverpool tomorrow night (9 February) after sustaining a calf injury against Southampton. The Hammers boss revealed the 26-year-old defender will undergo a scan later today, but has described his absence as a "big blow" to the club.
"James got injured against Southampton with a calf injury and has a scan today. After that we will know how bad it is. It will probably be a few weeks," Bilic told a pre-match press conference, according to the club's official Twitter account.
Tomkins' absence is compounded by the fact West Ham's January transfer window signing Sam Byram is cup-tied for the match against Liverpool. However, Bilic is relieved to have Joey O'Brien back from injury.
"Joey is a good player. It is a big blow that Tomkins is out now. It is a good thing that we have Sam and Joey back. We are well covered," the West Ham boss said.
Meanwhile, the Hammers' FA Cup opponents could welcome back Daniel Sturridge, who has been on the sidelines since early December. The 26-year-old striker was named among the substitutes for Liverpool's 2-2 draw against Sunderland on 6 February, but Bilic said West Ham will be prepared for whatever the Reds throw at them.
"Sturridge is a great player and has been injured. This is the third time we have played Liverpool and they have had different line-ups," Bilic explained.
"Liverpool are a big club and have had their ups and downs this season. Make no mistake you have to close them down and can't give them time," the West Ham manager added. "When you have the ball you need to be brave and direct and we have showed that in two out of the three games we have played them."