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West Ham's Thomas Hitzlsperger out for four months

By Frank Keogh

West Ham midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger
Hitzlsperger joined West Ham in June

West Ham midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has been ruled out of action for four months because of a thigh injury.

The 28-year-old German international has yet to make his Hammers debut after being injured in a pre-season match for his country against Denmark.

He was popular with the fans when at Aston Villa and was Avram Grant's first recruit when the ex-Portsmouth manager took over at Upton Park in June.

Hitzlsperger signed a three-year deal after leaving Lazio on a free transfer.

The central midfielder was injured when captaining his country in a match on 11 August - three days before the start of the season.

Hitzlsperger, who is nicknamed 'der Hammer' for his powerful shooting, had harboured hopes of appearing for the London club before the end of October but has suffered a setback so may require surgery.

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He had impressed in pre-season matches for West Ham and scored the winner in a 1-0 win over Greek side Panathinaikos on a tour of Germany.

Mark Noble, Luis Boa Morte and Radoslav Kovac have all featured in midfield alongside Scott Parker as the Hammers have arrested a poor start to their Premier League season.

They remain bottom of the table but have picked up their five-point total in their last three league games and have reached the last 16 of the Carling Cup.

While the German's absence is a major blow for him and West Ham, Grant believes he has a strong enough squad to move up the table, with midfielder Jack Collison and striker Zavon Hines the only other long-term absentees.

Hitzlsperger spent five years at Aston Villa until 2005 and has been capped 52 times by his country

His contract had expired at Lazio, where he played only six times after moving from Stuttgart in January.



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see also
West Ham swoop for Hitzlsperger
05 Jun 10 |  West Ham
West Ham 1-1 Fulham
02 Oct 10 |  Premier League
Stuttgart seal Hitzlsperger deal
13 Apr 05 |  Aston Villa


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