West Ham midfielder Kieron Dyer has suffered another injury setback, while Gianfranco Zola does not know when Dean Ashton will return.
Dyer missed the majority of last season after sustaining a broken leg and has started only one Premier League game in the current campaign due to a hamstring problem.
The 30-year-old was close to fitness, but boss Zola, who has a host of injury concerns, has revealed a new problem which will rule him out for at least another fortnight.
Ahead of West Ham's trip to Sunderland, the Italian said: "Unfortunately Kieron is injured. He was coming back and he got another problem. It will be two or three weeks, hopefully.
"It's unbelievable and I feel so sorry for him. The boy works hard, he comes back and when he's ready to get into the team, 100 per cent fit, he gets injured again.
"It's a real pity because he is one of the players who could have given us something very good.
"He's been out for a long time now and every time he starts to get fit he picks up an injury.
"They are not big issues, they are small injuries but obviously his confidence is not good. But I have told him he has to fight, he has to be stronger than that - he will get there.
"It is frustrating for him but you can't afford to be frustrated, it doesn't help."
The future is still uncertain for Ashton, who underwent ankle surgery at the beginning of 2009 and was the subject of retirement rumours in the summer.
"Dean Ashton is still trying to work on his problems, I haven't had an update recently but he is trying very hard," added Zola.
"It is another frustrating situation for me because he is another player who could make a difference for this club. But I hope very much for him, first, and then for me."