Etherington ankle injury blow for Hammers

May 5, 2006

West Ham have suffered another major injury blow ahead of the FA Cup final after winger Matthew Etherington was taken to hospital for an x-ray on an ankle.

Etherington went over on the ankle in a training session at Upton Park and is unlikely to be fit for Sunday's Barclays Premiership clash with Tottenham.

The Hammers are already without suspended midfielder Hayden Mullins and there is a doubt over striker Dean Ashton, who is recovering from a hamstring injury.

'Unfortunately Matty has taken a really bad knock today and I think he is doubtful, not just for Sunday but for the cup final,' said Pardew.

'That is really bad blow. The whole squad is disappointed that Matty has this injury.'

Ashton, who limped out of West Ham's 1-0 win over West Brom on Monday night, but Pardew believes there is a 'strong chance' he will be fit for the final.

Ashton will use an oxygen tent this week to aid his recovery.