Noble out with appendicitis

LONDON - English Premier League strugglers West Ham United received a further blow on Tuesday when midfielder Mark Noble was ruled out for a month with appendicitis.

Noble suffered abdominal pains at the club's training ground on Monday and was rushed to hospital where he underwent an hour-long operation to remove his appendix, the club said on its website.

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The former England under 21 international has started all 10 of West Ham's league games this season but is set to miss key clashes against Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Blackpool and Wigan Athletic.

West Ham are bottom of the table with six points from their opening 10 games.