Defensive injury worries set to ease

Alan Pardew has been handed some good news on the injury front as he prepares for next week's return to Premiership action against Portsmouth.

Head Physiotherapist Steve Allen has confirmed that Anton Ferdinand, Tyrone Mears and John Pantsil should all be available for selection ahead of the trip to Fratton Park to take on Harry Redknapp's men, and also revealed that Dean Ashton is still on schedule to make his first team comeback before Christmas.

Here Steve gives us an exclusive progress report on the current injured list at Upton Park…

Anton Ferdinand
"Anton is now back to full fitness after his grade one hamstring strain and was actually very close to playing in the match against Reading last week. Had it been two or three days later, we think he would have made it. He has now gone away with the England under-21 squad and trained on Thursday with a view to playing on Friday night after being assessed by the England medical team, so we expect him to come back to us fit and well next week, ready for the Portsmouth match."

Yossi Benayoun
"Yossi suffered a minor thigh strain late on in the Reading game, and has now gone away with the Israel national team to be assessed ahead of their match against Russia on Saturday. Unfortunately, we were unable to assess him properly after the game on Sunday because it was the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur and he had to rush off at the final whistle, but we expect him to come back fully fit and ready for the Portsmouth game.

John Pantstil
"John had a torn meniscus ligament in his left knee, which he sustained against Liverpool in August - and it will be six weeks ago on Tuesday since his operation. He returned to Ghana this week to meet his new national team coach and will recommence full training here at Chadwell Heath on Monday."

Tyrone Mears
"Following his calf injury, Tyrone is now fit and well and has returned to training. All being well, he will be available for selection against Portsmouth."

George McCartney
"Having passed his second medical with us after suffering a medial collateral ligament sprain in his knee while at Sunderland, George has now returned to full training and is progressing well. He will be looking to play a reserve game very soon in order to build his match fitness."

James Collins
"James suffered a 1.5cm tear in his right adductor longus (groin) muscle during the UEFA Cup second leg match in Palermo, and his estimated recovery time was approximately three to four weeks. However, he is progressing well and is actually a very quick healer anyway, so there is a chance that he could be available again sooner, perhaps even in time for next week."

Lee Bowyer

"Lee flew back on Wednesday night from Germany, where he underwent a hernia operation. The reason we sent him to Germany was because they have a quicker turn-around period - 10 days from operation to full fitness, while over here it is four to six weeks. They perform a 'Laparoscopy', where a tiny camera is used to ensure the smallest possible incision. So we are hoping Lee's recovery time will be around 10 days. However, last Friday in training he fell awkwardly on the point of his shoulder and sustained an anterior subluxation to his Glenohumeral joint - which basically is just less than a dislocated shoulder. He will see a specialist this weekend and we will probably need to work on strengthening the muscles around the joint, because if he keeps falling on it, the subluxation will get worse and worse, and could lead to dislocation and surgery."

Dean Ashton
"Dean is due to be evaluated this weekend by the surgeon, who will X-ray the ankle again and hopefully remove the air-cast walking boot that he has been wearing. Dean is then due to commence his rehabilitation with us on Tuesday and will spend the rest of the week with us before heading off to Total Fitness in Manchester, where he will take part in hydrotherapy and water resistance exercises designed to accelerate the healing process with fractures. He will spend a week in Manchester, come back to us for a week, then go back up there for another week, so that we can continually re-assess his situation. However, Dean is still at least two months away from resuming training."

James Tomkins
"James suffered a dislocation to his shoulder during the reserve match on Tuesday night, and saw a specialist on Thursday afternoon. He will now be in a sling for six weeks and will then require a further six weeks of physiotherapy, so it is going to be three months before we see him back in action."