Les Battling To Be Fit

After the possibility of a broken leg was thankfully ruled out, Les Ferdinand has started the process of intensive rehabilitation needed to get him fighting fit for Saturday's game with Chelsea.

Club doctor Ges Steinbergs says: "Les has had a precautionary X-ray, he has cuts and bruising to the leg, and he has had stitches, but there is no fracture, and he is receiving treatment."

With Joe Cole and Steve Lomas both playing through injuries on Saturday - with knee and ankle problems respectively - and Michael Carrick and Lee Bowyer on the injured list, suddenly the midfield area is looking somewhat depleted. Ian Pearce, of course, is suspended at the weekend following his sending off against Bolton, unless an appeal is successful.

Contrary to rumour, though, Joe Cole, if he is fit or not, does not get a suspension for reaching 10 bookings in the same game, as he reached double figures for yellow cards after the 'cut-off' date for a ban to kick in.

He will merely receive a warning about future conduct.

Meanwhile, a young Hammers reserve side takes on Wimbledon at Dagenham and Redbridge on Monday evening hoping to build on last week's excellent 4-3 win at Fulham.

There are just two players, Shaun Byrne and Steve Bywater, with first team experience. Kick-off is at 7pm

Team: Bywater, A Ferdinand, Tattam, Byrne, Delaney, Ward, McClenahan, McMahon, Pearson, Akinsete, M Cole. Subs: Lumsden, Jackson, Wright, Laws, Blewitt, Bunce.