Upson's fitness tonic
Injury-prone West Ham defender Matthew Upson has gone to the ends of the earth to stay fit
Last Updated: 02/01/08 5:08pm
West Ham defender Matthew Upson has gone to the ends of the earth to make sure he can play for the Hammers.
The defender's career has been plagued by injuries but he has successfully played every minute in the league for the Hammers this season.
He has been helped in his bid to stay injury-free by taking advice from an expert in kinesiology - the scientific study of muscles and movement in the body
The England international, 28, explained: "I have played every minute in the Premiership. That is great and is something I was confident of doing.
"I have gone to the ends of the earth to search ways of getting my body on the pitch and I will do anything it takes to play and stay fit.
"I have got a South African doctor who specialises in kinesiology, but he applies it to sports medicine. He is fantastic and the best person I have ever worked with.
"I will do various things in the warm-up and during the week. It is just not before a game - he creates orthotics out of yellow pages which loads your body through your feet."
Upson hopes to soon be able to establish a regular partnership in the heart of defence after playing with several partners this season.
Speaking of the situation, Upson said: "It is important when you play as a centre-half that you understand your partner. It is very much a partnership as opposed to two central defenders.
"You have got to know how each other plays and when people go tight and you want to commit.
"There are various different things, but I know all four partners pretty well because I have had enough experience of all of them."
West Ham had won two and drawn one from their last three games, but their run came to an abrupt end with their 2-0 loss to Arsenal on New Year's Day, going down to goals from Eduardo and Emmanuel Adebayor inside 20 minutes.
Upson added: "It is frustrating because we didn't start the best and to concede against a team like Arsenal so early on is criminal from the way it happened.
"We slit our own throats in a way and we are all disappointed. But that is life and we learn from it.
"Our away form has been pretty good this season so we have just got to take it on the chin and move on."
The Hammers next play Man City in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday. Injury worries include midfielders Scott Parker and Nobby Solano who were both absent against Arsenal after picking up knocks in the victory over Manchester United, while Freddie Ljungberg lasted less than 40 minutes against the Gunners before hobbling off with a hamstring problem.