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Double setback hits the Irons

PUBLISHED: 11:51 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:30 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG WEST Ham s injury curse struck again this week as Craig Bellamy and Kieron Dyer were both ruled out for the start of the season. Bellamy limped off with a hamstring strain at Ipswich on Monday night while Dyer failed to make his expecte

By JONATHAN CLEGG

WEST Ham's injury curse struck again this week as Craig Bellamy and Kieron Dyer were both ruled out for the start of the season.

Bellamy limped off with a hamstring strain at Ipswich on Monday night while Dyer failed to make his expected return to action at Portman Road following a setback in his recovery from a double leg break.

Wales striker Bellamy, who scored his fifth goal of the pre-season before departing after just 29 minutes clutching his thigh, was later accused of verbally abusing an opposition fan during West Ham's 5-3 friendly victory.

He has since been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Hammers but of greater concern to manager Alan Curbishley will be the prospect of another long absence for the forward.

Bellamy has been in dazzling form during pre-season and his injury is a massive blow for the West Ham boss.

Only last week Curbishley praised the £8.5million signing following his double strike in West Ham's 2-0 friendly defeat of Peterborough.

"He has worked extremely hard to return to full fitness and is a great asset," Curbishley said. "It is just like a new signing come back."

Bellamy was due to have a scan on the injury yesterday and despite Curbishley remaining optimistic about his chances of returning to fitness, he looks certain to miss the Premier League opener against Wigan next weekend.

"We don't know how bad it is - we'll have to wait and see," said the Hammers boss. "[But] you can see he is walking around now and he is quite bubbly."

Bellamy's setback came just days after Dyer was sidelined for up to four months and completed a miserable week for West Ham, who already have eight first-team players on the treatment table.

Dyer was due to make his long-awaited comeback at former club Ipswich but the 29-year-old broke down in training just 48 hours before the match.

Initial reports suggested that the former Newcastle midfielder had suffered a stress fracture and would be ruled out until October but Curbishley is optimistic that Dyer could return to training within "four to five weeks".

He said: "Basically what has happened is that he has been running all summer and it was decided that when we came back from America he would join in with us.

"He had a week with [reserve team manager] Kevin Keen and then he joined up with us and he looked great.

"After three days he just felt a little bit sore, so we had him scanned and they have said that he can carry on running, but not join in with us for four to five weeks.

"Once he has got over it, he should join in again. He has looked so good - if you speak to some of the players they will tell you - so we are devastated for him because he has worked so hard during the summer.

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