Noble faces being ruled out of battle against the drop

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The Independent Football

Midfielder Mark Noble will undergo a scan today on a suspected hernia that will determine if he can play any part in West Ham's desperate fight against relegation from the Premier League.

West Ham are hoping the injury that saw him taken off on a stretcher during Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Chelsea is nothing more than a muscle strain, but the more likely scenario is that Noble has suffered a hernia, which would rule him out for the rest of the season.

The potential loss of Noble would be a huge blow for manager Avram Grant, who has already seen Footballer of the Year Scott Parker miss the last two games with a sore Achilles.

Parker and Noble are unlikely to be fit for Sunday's game at Manchester City, where Grant will also be without midfielder Gary O'Neil (ankle) and Kieron Dyer (hamstring).