WEST Ham United have been hit by yet another injury blow with the news that Mark Noble will be out for a month with a torn calf muscle.
The England Under-21 midfielder was hurt during a session at the club's Chadwell Heath training ground this week.
The calf problem is the latest in a series of setbacks for Noble, who missed parts of last season with a hernia problem and later a hamstring strain.
It is also bad news for Hammers' manager Gianfranco Zola, who has already lost Dean Ashton to a long-term ankle injury and is also without defenders Danny Gabbidon and Jon Spector.
"We have Mark Noble who is going to be unfortunately out for a few weeks with a tear problem in his calf," said Zola.
"That is the bad news. It happened in training."
The fit-again Lee Bowyer, Hayden Mullins, Wales international Jack Collison and Luis Boa Morte will battle to take the absent Noble's place in the team for Sunday's Premier League visit of Arsenal to Upton Park.
However, Zola has received some positive injury news with Kieron Dyer set to resume full training within the next three weeks.
The England forward, out since August 2007 with a broken leg suffered in a Carling Cup tie at Bristol Rovers, has resumed light training with the remainder of the first-team squad.
Dyer's return has been delayed by shin splints suffered during his rehabilitation, but the former Ipswich Town and Newcastle United star's injury nightmare would appear to be approaching an end.
Meanwhile, Wales international defender James Collins will be included in Zola's matchday squad for the first time against the Gunners after completing his recovery from a long-term knee ligament injury.
Basildon-based James Tomkins, who has been out with a medial knee ligament problem suffered during the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in July, is also set to resume full training on Monday.