Get your boots on Zola

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 23rd December 2009

Gianfranco Zola has been left in the farcical situation of having no fit first team strikers available after Guillermo Franco was ruled out of the Boxing Day clash with Portsmouth.

Mexican striker Franco, who took a knock during the second half against Chelsea last weekend is understood to have sustained the injury during training on Wednesday and was immediately ruled out of this wekeend's clash with the league's bottom club, according to the Independent.

With rookie Zavon Hines and Carlton Cole already injured - and Dean Ashton having recently retired - Zola is left with teenager Frank Nouble as his only direct replacement, although Italian Alessandro Diamanti has plenty of experience as a withdrawn striker and could be asked to fill in.

Franco, who has proved a decent acquisition since joining the club on a free transfer in September is also set to miss the trip to Tottenham on Monday but should be back in time to face Arenal in the third round of the FA Cup the following weekend.

Meanwhile Carlton Cole continues to push for a mid-January return whilst Zavon Hines could be out for several months should a longstanding injury necessitate urgent treatment. West Ham are set to recall Freddie Sears, without a senior goal in 18 months at either Premier League or Championship level from his loan spell at Crytsla Palace to ease the crisis.

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