Quique Sanchez Flores has confirmed Watford forward Danny Welbeck will be absent for a lengthy period of time after suffering a hamstring injury.
The former Arsenal striker had to be replaced after only four minutes of Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Tottenham in the Premier League.
Although the Hornets are reluctant to put a timescale on when the former England international will be back, the 28-year-old is likely to be unavailable for “months” starting with this weekend’s home match with Bournemouth.
“It’s bad news about Danny Welbeck. We need to check a little bit more and that will happen in the next weeks,” Sanchez Flores told reporters at a press conference.
“I have no idea how long he will be out, but it’s for a long time. It will probably be months rather than weeks.”
The news on captain Troy Deeney is more positive, although the forward is still during the recovery process after a minor knee operation in August.
Sanchez Flores added: “With Troy, we are very happy. He’s back on the pitch, not with us but alone and working with the medical staff. I hope he is recovering quickly.”
A big boost for the Hornets – who remain the only club without a win in the Premier League this season – is Sebastian Prodl, Etienne Capoue and Isaac Success returning to training.
The trio could be in contention for Saturday’s match with the 10th-placed Cherries.
Sanchez Flores added: “They came from some injuries but little by little they are training day by day.
“We are just checking at the moment and we need to wait a little bit more.”
Watford have struggled for goals this term, scoring just five times in nine league games and Welbeck’s injury will only increase the pressure on Andre Gray and Gerard Deulofeu.
Deeney’s return will make a big difference, but for now Sanchez Flores has to contend with him and summer signing Welbeck on the sidelines.
The former Valencia and Atletico Madrid manager conceded Welbeck’s face at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium told a story.
“He was disappointed, he was very sad, and I tried to help him and support him. But the face of Danny Welbeck was always the same,” Sanchez Flores admitted.
“It’s impossible to change the morale, the mood, it will change a lot because he felt he had the opportunity to come back at a good level but now we need to wait again.”
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