West Ham United boss Gianfranco Zola is unsure when Dean Ashton will again be available.

Ashton, who will not play again until 2009, underwent ankle surgery this week and Zola is happy with the initial reports back, although he stressed it was "too early to say" when the No9's return date would be.

"The main thing is the operation went well. Now we need to wait a little bit to see how long it will take. As far as I know there were a few particles that needed to be removed but the main thing is that it went OK," he told whufc.com.