Fitness boost for Hammers

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Alan Pardew has been handed a boost with news that three of his previously sidelined defenders should be fit for West Ham United's next match.

The struggling Hammers have endured a miserable time of late and their woes have been exacerbated by a spate of injuries that saw Pardew left with just four fit defenders for last weekend's defeat to Reading.

However, the club's physio Steve Allen has confirmed that Anton Ferdinand, Tyrone Mears and John Pantsil should all be ready for West Ham's away day at Portsmouth after the international break.

Ferdinand has been struggling with a hamstring injury that has kept him out, Mears has shrugged off a calf complaint, while Pantsil has had knee ligament troubles.

Meanwhile, it is expected that midfielder Lee Bowyer will need ten days to recover from the hernia operation he underwent in Germany this week.