Carroll makes playing comeback for Hammers

West Ham striker Andy Carroll made his playing comeback from a heel injury in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Wednesday.

Carroll was one of five first-team players to feature in the 60-minute clash against Southend United, with Kevin Nolan, Matt Jarvis, Joey O'Brien and Ricardo Vaz Te also featuring.

Jarvis scored West Ham's goal as the shortened contest at the Premier League club's training ground ended 1-1.

England striker Carroll has not featured for West Ham since May's season-ending 2-0 defeat at Manchester City after suffering a recurrence of heel issues which have plagued him since moving to Upton Park - initially on loan - from Liverpool.

His spell on the sidelines this time around has coincided with a swift change of fortunes under Sam Allardyce and Carroll may struggle to break back into a firing forward line.

Pre-season signings Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia have nine goals between them in the top flight this term, helping the Londoners to fifth place after 10 games.

Though unlikely to feature when West Ham host Aston Villa this weekend, a trip to Everton after the international break may be a realistic return date for the 25-year-old.

Sakho himself has struggled with a shoulder injury in recent weeks, though he is expected to return to face Villa on Saturday.