Andy Carroll had his protective boot removed last week and is now working hard in the gym to recover from his ankle operation in an attempt to return to the Hammers team before Christmas. Carroll had his operation by a world specilaist in America in late July after being sent home from the New Zealand tour early and was not expected to return until the New Year but now it seems Christmas period is the new target. His specialist has given to green light for him to resume strengthening and fitness work in the gym.
Whether Carroll will automatically regain his slot up front as the lone striker will depend how Zarate, Valencia and Sakho do between now and December. One or both of the new strikers are expected to play some part in tomorrow’s cup match against Sheffield United.