West Ham suffer new delay over Ashton

February 26, 2007

Dean Ashton has been forced to wait a little longer for his West Ham return after the club decided he will not play in tonight's reserve-team match at Gravesend and Northfleet.

The 23-year-old had been tipped to feature for the first time since breaking his ankle during an England training session prior to the start of the season.

But the former Norwich striker will instead be rested after recently intensifying his rehabilitation from the injury.

Head physiotherapist Steve Allen told club website: 'Dean has undergone some intensive treatment recently and stepped up his level of rehab, and we are delighted with the progress he has made.

'He has worked particularly hard on the training field and, for that reason, we don't believe it would be in his best interests to play in tonight's reserve team match.

'At this stage, his rest and recovery is just as important as the intensive work he is carrying out, and we look forward to him continuing his progress towards full fitness.'