We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium…

Frank McAvennie admits Declan Rice’s injury is a “huge” blow for West Ham but is optimistic about the midfielder’s return.

The Athletic has reported that Rice, 22, could be sidelined for between four to six weeks with a knee ligament tear that ruled him out of the 3-2 win at Wolves on Monday night.

If Rice is out for four weeks, it means he should be back in time to play against Everton on May 8. However there are only three matches to play after that and if he’s out for the full six weeks, he might only be available to play the final game of the Premier League season versus Southampton on May 23.

While it’s good news for England that Rice should be recovered in time to be fit for the European Championships, it’s mixed news for West Ham.

Despite this, ex-Irons striker McAvennie has focused on the positives.

When asked how much of a blow Rice’s injury is, McAvennie told West Ham Zone: “Huge – but it’s only for four weeks.

“He was on social media the other night and he seemed to enjoy the game. It’s the first time he’s done it, he’s enjoyed putting his feet up and watching the game.

“He’ll be back before the end of the season and ready for the Euros.

“West Ham have important games coming up at the end of the season which they’ve got to win to secure a European spot and that’s what they’re looking for.”

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Before the five-goal thriller at Molineux on Monday night, Rice had played every minute of every Premier League match for West Ham.

He’d also played 90 minutes in England’s final two matches of the most recent international break against Albania and Poland. In that win over Poland, Rice won the player of the match award but also suffered his knee injury [The Athletic].

On Monday, David Moyes’ men showed they can still win matches without Rice.

Mark Noble did very well in the centre of the park with the Hammers winning for the first time in the league this season in a match where the club captain has started.

Let’s hope that continues into this weekend as Moyes’ side plays host to top-four rivals Leicester at the London Stadium.

In other West Ham news, our panel of Super Fans were drooling over Jesse Lingard’s display at Wolves.

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