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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 2, 2006

Ashton facing anxious wait over Cup final fitness

West Ham striker Dean Ashton faces an anxious wait to discover whether the hamstring injury he sustained in last night's win at West Brom will rule him out of the FA Cup final.

Ashton limped out of the Hawthorns clash after 23 minutes after falling awkwardly in a challenge with Curtis Davies and will have a scan on his injury tomorrow.

But there are growing fears the injury sustained by the Hammers' £7.25million man is worse than originally thought, and he may struggle to recover with the Cardiff clash just 12 days away.

Ashton's agent Darren Bossons said: 'Dean does not feel it is a bad grade strain but obviously with the cup final coming up so quickly he is pretty concerned today.

'He will rest the injury then have a scan at the club after which he will have a better handle on the extent of the injury. It goes without saying he would be disappointed to miss the final.'

Hammers boss Alan Pardew will also learn the extent of the groin injury sustained by Matthew Etherington during the warm-up which curtailed his part in the 1-0 win.

Neither Anton Ferdinand nor James Collins travelled to the Black Country nursing back and groin injuries respectively while Yossi Benayoun has also picked up a groin strain in training.

All of which is a blow to Pardew not only looking to the cup final but also to his aim of sealing a top-10 Premiership finish with victory over Tottenham on Sunday.

Pardew said: 'We have been up there all year so to fall out of it right at the end because of the pressure of the cup final would have been disappointing for us.

'We have now almost secured that place in the top 10 but I know how important it is to our fans to put in a good performance against Tottenham.'