West Ham striker Andy Carroll is confident his recovery from ankle surgery is ahead of schedule, but he won't rush back too soon.
Carroll scored seven goals in 24 appearances on loan from Liverpool in 2012/13, but has managed just 12 league starts since making the Hammers move permanent after sustaining long-term heel and ankle injuries.
The forward is yet to feature in 2014/15 having undergone an operation during pre-season, but the 25-year-old is now up and running, literally, and targeting a December return for Sam Allardyce’s side.
"I haven't had a problem with my ankle or anything. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I should be joining in with the lads.
“It happened when we'd just gone back to training. I just rolled my ankle, it swelled up and I was told it'd need an operation with a four or five-month healing time. Obviously it's only been two months since the operation and everything is going well. Running at this stage is better than expected.
“I have to take it slowly because I've had a few niggles in the past. I don't want those to carry on so I have to take it a step at a time. That's why it's going so well - I'm not rushing and I haven't had a problem since I've been back running."
And with West Ham's new-look forward line currently doing the business - Enner Valencia scoring at Hull and Diafra Sakho netting in his last three games - there's no need for Carroll to clamber off the treatment table prematurely.
“There was a lot of talk [last time] about when I was going to be back fit, and I did probably rush it a bit," he said. "Obviously this time it's a lot better and the lads are doing well. I just need to take my time really.”
West Ham have so far seen little return from the club record £15 million they spent on the former Liverpool and Newcastle striker, who bagged 31 goals in 80 league games for the Magpies in his native North East.
But the Gateshead-born targetman says he does not feel like he has let the Hammers down and pays little attention to those who call him injury-prone.
“I don't really care what people say to be honest,” said Carroll. “I know myself. I know I've had problems with injuries - I'm not hiding away from that - but hopefully this is the last one and I can get it out the way. It's hard being injured straight after the last injury - a lot harder. But I just try to focus on the positives.
“The club put a lot of faith in me paying so much money. I don't feel like I've let them down - it was an injury in training I couldn't help.
“I'm just focusing on getting back playing football. The sooner the better for me and the physios to get me out there. It's got to be a bit of both; it's about if I feel right and if the physios think I'm right. To me I'd say I could go back in tomorrow!”
West Ham have launched Club London, offering supporters stunning VIP areas at their new home located in the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.comments