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Ashton will miss rest of season

Dean Ashton
Ashton initially broke his ankle in a training session in 2006

West Ham striker Dean Ashton will not play again this season as he takes a cautious approach to his rehabilitation following two bouts of ankle surgery.

Ashton, 25, injured his left ankle in training in September 2008 and had the first operation soon after.

He has just had a second operation after specialist Niek van Dijk flew to London to help with the surgery.

Ashton said: "I'm looking to get myself back for pre-season now. I don't want to come back unless I'm right."

Ashton is due to be reassessed later in February before flying to Amsterdam to meet Professor Van Dijk four weeks later.

James Calder, who also worked on the operation, is confident Ashton will make a full recovery.

"This type of procedure has been performed on a lot of top European sports professionals and it has proven very successful," he said.

"It was a complicated injury but we are confident that Dean will recover well."

Since breaking the same ankle in August 2006, Ashton, who began his career with Crewe, has been plagued by injuries.

606: DEBATE

He signed a new five-year deal with West Ham in June 2008 shortly after winning his first England cap in the friendly against Trinidad & Tobago.

Ashton, who scored 11 goals last season, joined West Ham from Norwich for 7.25m in January 2006 and helped the club to the FA Cup final, where they lost on penalties to Liverpool.

His performances that season earned him an England call-up for the friendly with Greece in August 2006.

But he broke his ankle in training for that game and missed the entire 2006-07 season. He also suffered injuries during the 2007-08 campaign.

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see also
Hammers dealt Ashton injury blow
26 Dec 08 |  West Ham
Ashton signs long-term contract
04 Jun 08 |  West Ham
Ashton breaks ankle in training
15 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Ashton receives England call-up
11 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Hammers complete Ashton transfer
23 Jan 06 |  West Ham


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