Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ashton Will Recover for Final

According to The Times West Ham striker Dean Ashton should be fit in time for the FA Cup Final on Saturday week.

"A scan yesterday afternoon revealed that the damage to Ashton's hamstring was far less serious than was feared. Ashton has suffered a grade-one strain that usually takes about ten days to heal and although he will miss the final Barclays Premiership match of the season, against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, he is expected to be back in the starting line-up for the Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff six days later.

Ashton has been carrying a groin injury since joining from Norwich City in January, but he felt sufficiently fit to play on Monday. If the latest injury does not heal as expected, Alan Pardew, the manager, is likely to pair Bobby Zamora and Marlon Harewood in attack."

Matthew Etherington, who was withdrawn as a precaution from the team shortly before the West Bromwich match because of a groin injury, is also expected to recover for the Cup Final. Anton Ferdinand, Yossi Benayoun and James Collins, who are also carrying groin injuries, should be fit, but may be rested for part of the Tottenham match.

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