Nathaniel Chalobah's recovery from a knee injury is still in the balance, according to head coach Marco Silva, who is waiting to see how he begins his recovery from soon-to-be-performed surgery.

Chalobah was a shock omission from Saturday’s 2-1 win at Swansea, before it was revealed he had been injured during training in the build-up to the game at the Liberty Stadium.

The Hornets have since said they are hoping to have the 22-year-old back before the end of the year - but head coach Marco Silva is less confident about when to expect the midfielder to return.

He said: “He’s had one appointment so far and we’ll see what will happen.

“It’s a matter of recovery, some people can come back after a week and everything is going well in their recovery, but it can take longer for others. After the surgery, and when he begins his rehabilitation, we’ll see.”

Chalobah had started the season well for the Hornets, earning a debut England call-up last month and impressing during the early weeks of the season.

Silva added: “It’s difficult news for us, it’s mostly a pity for him though. It’s football, and now’s the moment to support him and give all of the support we can for him and get him in a good condition to help the team as soon as we can.

“He has been a really important player to us, not just what he gives to us but in some set-pieces he’s very strong too.

"We can play with Capoue, who has a lot of quality, but he’s a different type of player with a different profile. We can also play with Ben [Watson] or Cleverley further back.”

Adrian Mariappa and Christian Kabasele may continue at the heart of the Hornets defence with the news both Sebastian Prodl and Younes Kaboul are still unvailable, although Miguel Britos is fit to return after serving a three-game suspension.

Silva has previously referred to the club's regular defensive injury woes as "not a coincidence" - and hinted that he had been concerned about the possibility of problems flaring up in the Hornets' existing backline when he arrived at Vicarage Road.

He said: "We can’t control everything. If you analyse and pay attention, when somebody does things it can happen.

"Because of that we did everything we ccould do to sign a player in that position. It’s the past now and it’s not the time to talk about it."