Parker struggling but Spector is fit

WEST HAM S influential midfielder Scott Parker looks set to miss Saturday s derby showdown with his old club Chelsea, WRITES DAVE EVANS. The 28-year-old England international has missed the last three games with a groin strain, with Lucas Neill moving fro

WEST HAM'S influential midfielder Scott Parker looks set to miss Saturday's derby showdown with his old club Chelsea, WRITES DAVE EVANS.

The 28-year-old England international has missed the last three games with a groin strain, with Lucas Neill moving from right back to central midfield to cover for him.

And it seems the skipper may have to continue in his makeshift role against the title-chasing Blues when they come to Upton Park for what should be a sell-out as Radoslav Kovac is only rated a 50/50 chance while he struggles with a thigh injury.

Parker's absence will be a huge blow for the Hammers as they look to hang on to seventh place and a possible European spot next term.


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James Collins is also nursing a calf injury which forced him off after just half an hour at Villa Park on Saturday, but that is less of a problem as the in-form James Tomkins can revert to the centre of defence.

That could lead the way for the return of Jonathan Spector at right back, who has recovered from the concussion he suffered against Sunderland two weeks ago and is ready to play.

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There is better news on the long-term injury front too.

Jack Collison has been running and will look to step up his training at the end of the week, while Carlton Cole - perhaps the player West Ham have missed the most - has also started running in training this week.

Both are two or three weeks away however, but they could give West Ham the late impetus they need to grab seventh spot.

MEANWHILE, West Ham will pay tribute to former Hammer Jimmy Neighbour on Saturday.

The winger, who played for the club between 1979 and 1983, died last week at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack.

Saturday will see a minute's applause in his memory.

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