West Ham United striker Dean Ashton has played down talk of an imminent return to action to boost the Hammers' battle to beat the drop.
The 23-year-old has not featured at all this season for the Premiership strugglers, having been injured while training with England back in August last year.
However, rumours had suggested that Ashton was close to a first-team return, but the player has denied that that is the case.
He told The Sun: "I'm not even thinking about match-fitness. I'm just trying to build myself up slowly.
"People see it as just a broken bone. It's more complicated than that.
"I had a cortisone injection to get rid of some scar tissue 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. I was feeling great.
"But because I came out on to the training pitches looking really good and being really optimistic, perhaps people got the wrong end of the stick."