West Ham injury news ahead of Newcastle United: Kurt Zouma absence explained and defender potentially out for 'the rest of the season'

Kurt Zouma missed West Ham United’s draw at Leicester City on Sunday amid controversy surrounding a video of him abusing his pet cat.

Zouma initially kept his place in The Hammers’ side for the win against Watford despite calls for him to be dropped after a distressing video emerged of him physically mistreating his cat.

The 27-year-old has since been fined and his cat has been taken away by the RSPCA.

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But this wasn’t the reason for his omission from the West Ham squad on Sunday, according to manager David Moyes.

Kurt Zouma of West Ham United looks dejected after the Premier League match between West Ham United and Watford at London Stadium on February 8, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

"Kurt was not well and was sick during the night,” Moyes said. "He did not eat with us today and stayed out of the [team] meeting.

"We did that not just because we were worried in case it was a symptom of Covid but he was sick and just could not make it – although he was really desperate to play.”

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Moyes still expects Zouma to return to the West Ham side against Newcastle United on Saturday (12:30pm kick-off). The Magpies head to the London Stadium having won each of their last three Premier League matches. Elsewhere in the West Ham squad, left-back Arthur Masuaku could be ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

The 28-year-old hasn’t featured in West Ham’s last two matchday squads.

And well-known club insider ‘ExWHUemployee’ revealed on The West Ham Way Podcast: “He’s got his ongoing knee injury which needs to be investigated by experts [as to] whether he can play. He might even be ruled out for the rest of the season, but I don’t know yet.”

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