Cole facing fortnight on sidelines

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West Ham striker Carlton Cole is expected to be out for a fortnight with the ankle sprain he suffered at the weekend.

The 25-year-old, who made his England debut last week against Spain, limped out of the FA Cup fifth-round draw against Middlesbrough at Upton Park.

There were fears the striker had suffered a serious injury but a statement from the club read: "A positive X-ray on Sunday showed no fracture and, ahead of an MRI scan to come, it is hoped the sprain could lead to only a two-week absence at worst."

Winger Luis Boa Morte will miss up to a month of action with a groin strain, while Valon Behrami could return for this weekend's clash against Bolton.

Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola has pleaded with fans not to turn on Boa Morte after jeering him off against Boro.

The Italian said: "I don't understand this, Luis Boa Morte has been a fantastic professional. Every time he plays he has done his job and he is incredible in the dressing room.

"He is one of the players every manager would like to have. I don't think he deserves the supporters picking on him.

"It makes it more difficult for him to perform. As soon as he makes a mistake they pick on him but he doesn't deserve that. He's been fantastic for me."

Boa Morte almost left for Hull in January, and Zola added: "That is more proof that he cares about what he is doing over here, he wanted to stay and prove he is useful. He has all my respect."

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Carlton Cole
Bolton Wanderers
Luis Boa Morte
Premier League
Valon Behrami
Gianfranco Zola
West Ham United
Hull City

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