Deano progressing well on road to fitness

Hammers fans can see exactly how Dean Ashton is progressing in his battle to recover from a broken ankle by going to WHUTV now!

Almost a month after we filmed the Hammers striker in the early stages of his rehabilitation at the Total Fitness Hydrotherapy Centre in Manchester, WHUTV caught up with Deano again this week as he worked under the guidance of Head Physiotherapist Steve Allen and Eamonn Swift, a member of the Club's Sports Science team.

The 23-year-old has now advanced to high-intensity strength work at our Chadwell Heath training ground, and admits that he can now see some major improvement in the ankle after a frustrating start to his recovery.

"After coming back from Manchester I had a bit of a hard spell," he reveals. "There didn't seem to be much improvement - I still had a lot of stiffness in the ankle and was getting very frustrated.

"The last couple of weeks have been really good, though. That stiffness has gone and I'm moving on to bigger and better things in my rehabilitation now.

"It's not a lot of work, but it is very hard work, and I'm putting in long days and long hours. It's been worthwhile, though, because I am finally over the worst.

"I can see my progress now and, by the doing these exercises, I can get a feel for how the ankle is improving.

"It's all building up to actually running, which I hope to do sooner rather than later. It's a case of getting to that stage next, and then I will really be able to push on."

Head physio Steve Allen says: "Dean is doing extremely well and we are delighted with his progress.

"He is now up to a level where we are trying to get him to take load through his ankle joint, in the form of low level plyometric work - single-leg hopping, bounding, cross-over hopping, and speed ladder drills.

"He is at exactly the level we hoped he would be by this stage, and I am confident that he will be jogging very soon."

To see the full and exclusive coverage of how Dean is progressing in his fight for fitness, simply visit WHUTV now and head for the whutv exclusive channel...