WEST HAM striker Dean Ashton's broken ankle is "devastating" for him and the team, according to club-mate Danny Gabbidon.
Ashton, a £7.2m record signing from Norwich in January, is expected to be out for three months after sustaining the injury in his first training session with the England senior squad on Tuesday.
And Gabbidon, who played for Wales in their 0-0 draw against Bulgaria in Swansea on Tuesday night, admits the loss of the 22-year-old will be keenly felt.
"I'm gutted for Dean. When I heard he was in hospital after being injured in training I just prayed it wasn't serious. Sadly it is, that's devastating," he said.
"He has looked really sharp in pre-season, scored some goals and looked really good.
"It's so disappointing, he was so excited about being called up for England and that had underlined how well he has been doing.
"This will be a big blow for him and us. Let's hope we can get him fit quickly and back into the team."
Gabbidon also revealed his own determination to live up to the spectacular maiden campaign he experienced in the top flight, helping the promoted Hammers to a top-half finish and the FA Cup final.
"I know I have something to live up to now, the whole team - not just me - had a decent season last time out," he said.
"I was personally delighted with the way my first season in the Premiership went, so I know I have to make sure that those standards do not drop."