Via the Twitter account of his 15-year-old son, Jack, Sullivan, stated: “He [Austin] failed a medical at Hull two years ago. Clearly an old injury left a severe doubt with the Hull medical team about the longevity of his career. I fully accept he is playing well and the old injury is not impacting upon him at this moment in time.”
Sullivan was responding to an earlier Tweet from Austin, who questioned West Ham’s decision not to pursue the transfer of the want-away £15 million-rated QPR and England striker.
“I am sorry that Mr Austin has taken my comments out of context, He is a player I greatly admire,” added Sullivan.
“Any club who wanted to buy him would re-medical him and take advice of their medical team. Indeed the opinions of different medical experts may vary.
“I was simply saying that at West Ham United we’ve been very unlucky with strikers, going right back to Dean Ashton, and the fact that 3 of our 4 strikers are injured at this moment in time.
“So for us, with our limited budget, our bad luck over injured strikers and the fact he failed a medical at Hull would be a risk we couldn’t take.
“I am sure many other clubs would take a different view and I hope he plays on until he is 37 or 38 as he is clearly a super professional and a great player.”