Positive news for McCartney

West Ham United head physiotherapist George Cooper has given an update on George McCartney's hopes of facing Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday week.

While several players are away serving their countries over the international break, there has been plenty of effort at Chadwell Heath to give manager Alan Curbishley more options for the London derby and a busy December. The club, sitting in tenth place and with a Carling Cup quarter-final to look forward to, are looking to make it six games unbeaten in all competitions.

The most recent success was a 5-0 defeat of Derby last Saturday but the one low point was the ankle injury suffered by McCartney, which then caused him to miss out on Northern Ireland duty this week. However, the signs are good that the ever-present could yet make his 16th appearance this season. Cooper said: "The ankle has settled down nicely, it is not as bad as we first thought. He should begin training next week and be in contention for Spurs."

Dean Ashton, Scott Parker and Freddie Ljungberg have continued to make good progress with Tottenham in mind, with Cooper adding: "All are in really good condition and I am really pleased with them."  Lee Bowyer, who is suspended for the Spurs visit, has returned from Germany after his hernia operation. "He is already walking around which is a very good sign that things went well," said Cooper. "He will begin light running on Monday - building up to full speed throughout the week then will begin full training the following Monday."