West Ham United are set to be without defender Ryan Fredericks for another six weeks, after he has had surgery on his shoulder.

The Hammers right-back picked up the injury at the Etihad Stadium against Manchester City last week, and having gone under the knife he is set for a spell on the sidelines at a key time in the campaign.

West Ham are in the middle of a huge run of fixtures which are going to be crucial to their chances of remaining in the Premier League, and they could have done with the former Fulham man being available.

That is not going to be the case for six weeks though, as confirmed by Hammers’ Head of Medical, Richard Gollinge, who provided fans with an update on the status of Fredericks.

“Ryan’s surgery went exactly as planned and he will begin his rehabilitation and recovery immediately, with the plan being for him to be available again in early to mid-April.” The West Ham official website quotes him as saying.

The extended absence means that Hammers boss David Moyes will need to continue to pick between Pablo Zabaleta and Jeremy Ngakia for that time, with the latter possibly in the box seat for a lengthy period on the role.

It was he who the West Ham manager chose to play at right-back against Liverpool on Monday night, and even though the Londoners were beaten in that contest, the academy graduate was one of the more impressive performers in a white shirt on the evening.

Whether he can play in all of the matches that are coming up, due to the quick turnaround or indeed the magnitude of them, remains to be seen, so it could be that the pair share responsibilities until Fredericks comes back.

If the right-back is out for six weeks, he should be back for the final five games of the campaign, matches which look like being extremely important.