West Ham have submitted a claim for compensation from the Football Association following Carlton Cole’s groin injury while on England duty.
The 25-year-old striker pulled up during the friendly win over Slovakia and needs another five weeks of rehabilitation before he returns to action.
The FA are one of very few national associations to provide insurance cover to players injured while on international duty, and it is understood the Hammers have now filed a claim.
Michael Owen’s injury at the last World Cup led to a high-profile settlement with Newcastle, while Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger considered a claim when Theo Walcott was injured in training ahead of the friendly against Germany in November.
Cole’s absence comes at a time when his club are chasing seventh place in the Barclays Premier League and a place in the Europa League that should come with it.
“It is frustrating if you consider that we now have Carlton Cole out as well as Valon Behrami and Jack Collison, plus Scott Parker is not at his best,” said Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola.
“It is frustrating because they are important players for us. It is a crucial moment of the season. The whole season has been like that, always having something to deal with.”