West Ham United winger Stewart Downing could be ruled out until after Christmas with an ankle injury

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Picture: Action Images Picture: Action Images

West Ham have been dealt a blow as Stewart Downing could be ruled out until after Christmas after he suffered a deep cut to his ankle against Liverpool.

The 29-year-old picked up the injury in an early challenge with Reds youngster Tom Flanagan.

Downing, who has made 15 appearances for the Irons this season, continued to play on and the severity of the injury was only apparent at half time and he was withdrawn.

The winger was taken to hospital and required 12 stitches to the wound. He is likely to miss this weekend's match against Sunderland and could be absent for further games.

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