West Ham United could be handed a timely boost after a surprise update on injury-prone striker Andy Carroll.
West Ham are bottom of the fledgling Premier League table after a disastrous start under new boss Manuel Pellegrini.
The Hammers are the only club in England on zero points.
That’s despite spending £100 million in the summer.
It has prompted fans and pundits to question whether the manager and recruitment is up to scratch.
One area West Ham look particularly short is up front.
Marko Arnautovic is struggling to shine in the lone striker role and the Hammers only have the ageing and ineffectual Javier Hernandez as backup.
‘Carroll progressing really nicely’
But Pellegrini could get a major boost after the club’s head of medical Richard Collinge provided a surprise update on perma-injured target man Andy Carroll (club’s official website).
“Andy Carroll is progressing really nicely and he’s going to start doing some work on the pitches this week, so he’s making really good progress,” Collinge told whufc.com.
West Ham simply cannot rely on Carroll any more.
The Geordie has spent more time on the treatment table than the pitch during his six years at West Ham.
Carroll has scored only 33 goals in 130 games for the East Londoners.
Stats don’t make good reading
That’s an average of just five goals and 20 games per season.
Fans are fed up seeing Carroll miss huge chunks of the season and they were not surprised when he was ruled out for four months back in July.
His return to training is a boost given West Ham’s dearth of striker options.
Supporters won’t be getting their hopes up just yet.
But if West Ham can get him fit they could have a fully motivated Carroll on their hands for the rest of the season.
That’s because he will be looking to prove he is worth a new contract either with West Ham or elsewhere as his contract is up in the summer.
And fans will be hoping he can sign off by reaching the 50 goal and 150 game milestones.