West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has been left "frustrated" by Andy Carroll's latest injury setback.
Carroll has not played for the club since injuring his heel in the final game of last season, with the club confirming on Friday that he has suffered damage to his foot.
The former Newcastle United striker was in line to feature for West Ham against Southampton on Sunday, but Allardyce has been forced to reassess the options within his squad.
When asked about Carroll's injury, Allardyce said: "It's hugely frustrating.
"It's frustrating and devastating for Andy, because we were sort of thinking that this Sunday might be his first appearance on the substitutes bench, having started to join in training."
Allardyce did, however, back recent signing Mladen Petric to help fill the void once he is fit.
"When we found out he had picked up another injury, not in the same place, but in the same tendon, we have to deal with that accordingly," he continued.
"We've moved along quickly to make a signing to cover that area and give us a bit more firepower hopefully. When he gets fit, Mladen Petric, hopefully he'll play a good part between now and the end of the season."
Allardyce added that Carlton Cole may yet re-sign for the club to boost his attacking options, having left Upton Park in May following the end of his contract.
"We've offered training time to Carlton, for him to try and help him get fit if he wants," Allardyce confirmed.
"If he's happy with that, I would be, and we'll see where we are from there, because we still have one place left in the squad."
Allardyce is without Carroll, Stewart Downing (leg), George McCartney (knee) and Joe Cole (hamstring) for Sunday's game.comments