Thursday, March 01, 2007


Deano: Not even thinking about match fitness

c+p from Dean Ashton's diary on You can leave him a well wishing message on that site.


You may have heard this week that I was ready to play again, however I want to set the record straight. It came out in the press that I was going to be playing for West Ham's reserves on Monday night, but it was a misunderstanding. People see it as simple – just a broken bone, but it's a lot more complicated than that.

I have even had people asking me how I got on in the actual game, which is just absurd! So I want everyone to know exactly what's going on.

I have been seeing a specialist called Alan Watson at a sports rehab clinic called BiMal in Chiswick. I had a cortisone injection to get rid of some scar tissue there about five weeks ago, and after that everything was feeling really good. My ankle was actually feeling the best it has felt. So I started doing fitness work again; things like a week's worth of running and ball work. And I was feeling great. I can't stress just how much I want to get back to help West Ham, because I am desperate to play in the Premier League next season.

But because I came out onto the training pitches, looking really good, and being really optimistic, perhaps people got the wrong end of the stick.

The rumour mill went into overdrive and everyone was saying that I was going to play. But it was a pure result of optimism; people got caught up in how well I had done in training. But thinking about it more and more you can see it needs time. I want to get across that it's not a simple bone injury. The joint needs time.

So, it was all blown out of proportion. I have been out for six-and-a-half months now and I am desperate to come back but it's just not right yet. So until the time is right, it's just a case of working hard.

Because of the situation West Ham are in, obviously it would be a boost if I came back and believe me, nobody wants me to play more than I do. I am absolutely desperate to play, but there is no point in rushing it. It's not going to do me any good to come back before I'm ready, and I don’t think anyone would want to see me come back if I wasn’t 100 per cent. It would be like taking one step forward and ten steps back, so that is why it has to take time.

It's not that I am taking longer than I need to; it's just that my ankle needs time to get used to it all again; I am at exactly the right point in this stage of my recovery. I can't go and do five days in a row. I need to do two days on, then have a day off and build it up slowly from there. The actual fracture is superb, it isn’t a problem, but it is going to take me a good while to really build up the ankle joint and get used to the impact again. At the moment the rest is just as important as the rehab, my ankle has to get used to working all over again.

I'm not even thinking about match fitness at the moment. It's not the matches that worry me; I am just trying to build myself up slowly. It's not a case of "There you go, it's fine, off you go, you can play again." It's very complicated and it takes a long time for your ankle to get used to loading.

I can't stress just how much I want to get back to help West Ham, because I am desperate to play in the Premier League next season. That is where I need to be to get back into the England squad, which is where I was before this all happened.

If something is going to happen, people are going to hear about it first on, not anywhere else. I am the one who knows how it is, and the proof will come when I am actually playing.

Again, thank you all for your continued messages of support; it's nice to know that people are thinking about me, even though I am not playing.

Keep checking back and I'll keep you up to date on how I'm doing right here. Bye for now!

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