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Irons downplay Parker fears

PUBLISHED: 16:46 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 14:18 05 October 2010

Scott Parker of West Ham reacts to missing a goal scoring oppurtunity during an English FA Cup, fifth round replay, football match between Middlesbrough and West Ham United at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, England, on February 25, 2009. AFP PHOTO/GRAHAM STUART - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY Additional licence required for any commercial/promotional use or use on TV or internet (except identical online version of newspaper) of Premier League/Football League photos. Tel DataCo +44 207 2981656. Do not alter/modify photo. (Photo credit should read GRAHAM STUART/AFP/Getty Images)

Scott Parker of West Ham reacts to missing a goal scoring oppurtunity during an English FA Cup, fifth round replay, football match between Middlesbrough and West Ham United at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, England, on February 25, 2009. AFP PHOTO/GRAHAM STUART - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY Additional licence required for any commercial/promotional use or use on TV or internet (except identical online version of newspaper) of Premier League/Football League photos. Tel DataCo +44 207 2981656. Do not alter/modify photo. (Photo credit should read GRAHAM STUART/AFP/Getty Images)

2009 AFP

West Ham have moved to downplay fears that Scott Parker will require an operation on the groin injury that has kept him out of action for the past three weeks

West Ham have moved to downplay fears that Scott Parker will require an operation on the groin injury that has kept him out of action for the past three weeks.

Midfielder Parker missed the club's 1-1 draw at Aston Villa last weekend and his fitness remains in doubt ahead of Saturday's home clash against former club Chelsea.

The 28-year-old not been expected to miss significant time after suffering the injury against Blackburn last month, but now looks set to miss a fourth successive Premier League encounter.

And Hammers manager Gianfranco Zola has revealed there is no timeframe on a possible return for the former England international, although he insists Parker will not require an operation to resolve the problem.

He said: "To be honest I don't know how long [he will be out for]. Parker's situation is strange - it's an inflammation, so it can go away in a few days or it could be longer.

"He is improving a lot but still he is not ready. I don't think he needs an operation - as far as I know he doesn't need one."

Defender James Collins is also unlikely to be available for the match at Upton Park, which is dedicated to raising money and awareness for the Richard House Children's Hospice in Docklands.

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