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West Ham boss Curbs treating Ashton with kid-gloves

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley has vowed to ease Dean Ashton back into the first team - and ruled him out of an England return any time soon.

The Hammers striker is finding his way back in the game after a 2006/07 season ruined by a broken ankle injury sustained while training with England.

"He's trained every day of pre-season and he's waiting for his chance," he said. "We're delighted he got through it, which was our main aim when you're out for a year.

"I've taken the decision to start with Craig Bellamy and Bobby Zamora, and I've spoken to him about that. He's just delighted to be back, and he is waiting for his chance.

"He'll need more before the qualifiers, though. We've been careful with him and he'll just be delighted to get a clear run."

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