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Page last updated at 10:41 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

West Ham striker Carlton Cole sidelined until new year

Carlton Cole
Cole celebrates his goal against Burnley with Scott Parker

West Ham and England striker Carlton Cole will be out of action until the new year with a knee ligament injury.

The 26-year-old will miss at least six matches for the Hammers before he is able to return, BBC Sport understands.

Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola said: "It depends how his knee reacts - we are talking about weeks not months. We will take it day by day."

Cole is a reported £20m target for several Premier League clubs in the January transfer window.

West Ham have had better news about defender Matthew Upson, who is expected to be over a hamstring injury in time to face Birmingham on 12 December.

Cole was injured in West Ham's 5-3 home win over Burnley last Saturday, but a scan revealed he did not need surgery.

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The England striker scored his seventh league goal of the season from the penalty spot, despite receiving earlier treatment for the knock.

Cole, who was signed from Chelsea in July 2006, had just returned from a hamstring strain against Aston Villa on 4 November.

After him, West Ham's highest league scorer this season is Mexican Guillermo Franco, who has netted three times, so his firepower will be missed over the festive period.

West Ham, who lie in 17th position, have some tough matches in the remainder of 2009 as they attempt to move clear of the relegation zone.

The home match against Manchester United is followed by trips to Birmingham and Bolton, home games against Chelsea and Portsmouth, and an away fixture at Tottenham.



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see also
West Ham 5-3 Burnley
28 Nov 09 |  Premier League
Cole comeback to boost West Ham
15 Nov 09 |  West Ham
Cole injury blow rocks West Ham
02 Apr 09 |  West Ham
Hammers sign Chelsea striker Cole
05 Jul 06 |  West Ham


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