Cole scuttled?

WEST HAM striker Carlton Cole looks set to miss Saturday s Premier League showdown with Sunderland - and may have played his last game this season, writes DAVE EVANS. The 25-year-old centre forward, who has 11 goals to his name during this campaign, limpe

WEST HAM striker Carlton Cole looks set to miss Saturday's Premier League showdown with Sunderland - and may have played his last game this season, writes DAVE EVANS.

The 25-year-old centre forward, who has 11 goals to his name during this campaign, limped off for England at Wembley on Saturday with a groin injury that ruled him out of Wednesday's World Cup clash with Ukraine.

Cole was back at West Ham's Chadwell Heath training ground on Monday for treatment and an assessment of his injury, and it was decided on Tuesday that they would scan the injury once again to see exactly how serious it is.

West Ham are reluctant to write off Cole's chances of playing again this season, especially as he recovered remarkably quickly from an ankle injury he suffered in the FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough, returning just a week later.


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However, confidence is not high in the Hammers' camp about his prospects and a second scan means there are likely to be complications and the injury could keep him out for weeks rather than days.

Cole will certainly be sorely missed, though manager Gianfranco Zola may well add to the attacking options by playing Kieron Dyer at the head of the midfield diamond on Saturday.

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Dyer came through last Friday's 4-2 reserve team friendly win over Chelsea - where Junior Stanislas scored a hat-trick - and he would add much-needed pace up front if he comes through training this week without problem.

German midfielder Savio is also fit again after damaging his knee in the 0-0 draw with West Brom last month.

He came through 87 minutes of Germany under-21s defeat by Switzerland and is likely to take his place on the bench on Saturday.

Another good piece of news is that youngster Jack Collison (pictured left) is responding well to the treatment on the kneecap injury he suffered at Wigan.

Initially there were fears that he would miss the rest of the season, but it seems likely he will return before the end of April, to provide a much-needed boost for West Ham's battle for Europe.

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