West Ham striker Andy Carroll could return to the matchday squad for Saturday's Premier League clash with Aston Villa.
The striker, who has not featured for West Ham since May after suffering a recurrence of heel issues which have plagued him since moving to Upton Park, featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Southend United on Wednesday, with fellow first-teamers Kevin Nolan, Matt Jarvis, Joey O'Brien and Ricardo Vaz Te also taking part.
After coming through that 60-minute fixture unscathed, manager Sam Allardyce says there is every possibility Carroll could be in contention this weekend.
"It depends how Andy trains the next two days whether he gets into the squad or not on Saturday," said Allardyce.
"If not this weekend, by the end of the international break he will be ready to come back into the squad.
Allardyce also has injury concerns over forward Diafra Sakho (shoulder) and defender Winston Reid (leg), but is encouraged by the progress of both players.
"Sakho is training today [Thursday] for the first time since his injury," he added. "Winston Reid will also do some training for the first time and then we'll make the final decisions tomorrow on who's available for selection."comments