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Hammers suffer Keane blow

West Ham's bid to stave of relegation has taken a blow with the news January recruit Robbie Keane will be sidelined for six weeks with a calf injury.

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Keane was brought in from Tottenham, initially on loan, to provide the goals the Hammers need to avoid the drop but now Avram Grant will be hoping the side can remain in sight of safety until the striker returns in late March.

Keane was taken off late in his second match for West Ham against Birmingham last weekend and then did not travel to join the Republic of Ireland squad for their clash with Wales this week.

Clubs often cite injury concerns for keeping their players away from international duty but on this occasion the Hammers' worst fears were confirmed with the diagnosis that Keane has torn a calf muscle.

West Brom appeared to be in bad shape heading into Saturday's crucial six-pointer having sacked Roberto Di Matteo this week but now West Ham will also have to reorganise last minute, with Grant to choose from Frédéric Piquionne, Carlton Cole, Victor Obinna and £6million January signing Demba Ba to lead his line at The Hawthorns.

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