More bad news for West Ham over crock Ashton

West Ham striker Dean Ashton may miss the rest of the season through injury.

The striker has been sidelined since September after he had to undergo surgery on an ankle injury.

Boss Gianfranco Zola admits he has no idea when he will have Ashton back in first team contention.

"He had an operation and we'll wait a couple of months before we can assess him," said the Hammers boss. "He is progressing very well.

"These things are down to the subject, how he reacts and improves. I don't think we'll have him in January or February, but I hope soon.

"He was due to start running on the treadmill and doing rehab with personal physio.

"I spoke to him a couple of days ago and he's happy with the progress.

"I can't say whether he'll be back in March, April, February... it depends how he progresses. I don't know honestly, it is impossible to say so soon.

"He had something causing problems with the cartilage in his ankle but because of his previous injuries it couldn't be a quick thing because they don't want to do any more damage."