Winger worry for Cup finalists
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Matthew Etherington is a major doubt for West Ham's FA Cup final against Liverpool.
Matthew Etherington is a major doubt for West Ham's FA Cup final against Liverpool, while Alan Pardew is ready to gamble on Dean Ashton.
Winger Etherington suffered an ankle injury in training on Friday and has been taken to hospital for an X-ray on the joint.
He missed Monday's game against West Brom due to a knock and now appears unlikely to play against Tottenham on Sunday.
But, more worryingly for The Hammers, Etherington is a big concern for next Saturday's cup showpiece at The Millennium Stadium.
"Unfortunately Matty has taken a really bad knock today and I think he is doubtful, not just for Sunday, but for the cup final," admitted Pardew.
"That is a really bad blow. The whole squad is disappointed that Matty has this injury."
Another major worry for The Hammers is striker Ashton, who hurt his hamstring during the 1-0 win at West Brom.
Pardew admits picking Ashton to face Liverpool would be a risk, although he feels injuries to defensive duo Anton Ferdinand and James Collins are not as serious.
He added: "Dean is our biggest worry and certainly won't be ready for the Tottenham game.
"So if he does play in the final it will be a gamble in that respect.
"The same applies to James and Anton if they haven't had a game before the final but, physically, they should be okay for it."