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Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Sunday, 15 November 2009

Cole comeback to boost West Ham

Carlton Cole
Cole has scored six times in 11 league games for West Ham this season

Striker Carlton Cole is set to return from injury to West Ham's depleted frontline for the Premier League visit to fellow strugglers Hull on Saturday.

Cole, the club's top scorer this season with six league goals, was taken off with a hamstring strain in the 2-1 home win over Aston Villa on 4 November.

The 26-year-old missed the defeat by Everton and England's loss to Brazil.

"The Everton game was a bit too soon, but now I can just focus on Hull and try to get a result there," he said.

His return is is a timely boost for the Hammers as fears grow that former England striker Dean Ashton could be forced to retire from the game with a serious ankle injury at the age of 25.

Newspaper reports have suggested Cole could be a £20m transfer target for Manchester United in the January transfer window.

Club officials stress he is not for sale, and the side need their best players as they sit third from bottom of the table.


The Hammers are a point behind 17th-placed Hull, with 10 points from 12 matches.

In Cole's absence, West Ham had no established Premier League forwards available for selection and had to rely on 20-year-old Zavon Hines and close-season recruit Guillermo Franco against Everton.

"I'm trying to play well and stay up there with the top scorers in the Premier League," Cole told the club's official website.

"All I can do is keep tucking them away and hopefully I can progress and get to 10 before Christmas, because that is my target."

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see also
Ashton's playing career in doubt
10 Nov 09 |  West Ham
West Ham 1-2 Everton
08 Nov 09 |  Premier League
Brazil 1-0 England
14 Nov 09 |  Internationals

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