Bellamy out for season admit Irons

PUBLISHED: 16:07 11 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:11 05 October 2010

WEST Ham remain in the dark about Craig Bellamy s injury problems with the star striker understood to be no closer to a first-team return following two months on the sidelines. Bellamy has made just nine appearances for the Hammers since his club record £

WEST Ham remain in the dark about Craig Bellamy's injury problems with the star striker understood to be no closer to a first-team return following two months on the sidelines.

Bellamy has made just nine appearances for the Hammers since his club record £7.5million move from Liverpool last summer, and has been out of action since February 2 with an abdominal problem.

Despite two months on the treatment table, the Wales international has yet to resume training and West Ham manager Alan Curbishley has revealed the club are baffled by the extent of the injury.

Midfielders Lee Bowyer and Matthew Etherington have been sidelined by similar injuries, and the West Ham boss admitted that the trio's slow recovery times have baffled the club's medical staff.

"Bellamy is doing all the rehab but until he actually starts going out there and training fully, we cannot start thinking about when he can return," explained Curbishley.

"People like [him], Etherington and Bowyer have been missing for months.

"Bowyer has had an operation and Etherington is in the throes of starting to run again and we hope that if he gets through that, he could be one of the players who declares himself fit at the end of the season. Bellamy is in the same situation."

Defender Danny Gabbidon, who has out since December with a groin injury is another of the club's crocked stars still some way from a return to training, while Julien Faubert and Nigel Quashie are also unlikely to feature again this season.

With just five games remaining in the current campaign, Curbishley admitted that the uncertainty over the long-term health of so many first-team players could affect his recruitment plans this summer.

"Gabbidon played against Everton in the League Cup and we haven't seen him since," said the manager.

"He's got a similar injury to Bellamy and Etherington where the only time you're going to find out if he's fully recovered is when you go out on the training pitch.

"The problem we've got is that we won't be able to have a decision on them when the season ends.

"The list is incredible and as a club we need some of them to start clearing up so we know where we are. It affects everything we're going to do."

Curbishley received another injury blow this week when the club confirmed that Kieron Dyer has suffered a setback in his return from a double leg fracture.

Dyer has made a successful recovery from the compound fracture he suffered at Bristol Rovers last year, but his hopes of a first-team return this season have been derailed by a shin problem.

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