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Friday 29 November Updated Wednesday 18 February

Carroll to step up training

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce revealed that Andy Carroll will return to the Club's Chadwell Heath base next week in the next stage of his comeback from injury.

The striker has been working with specialists in Belgium and the Netherlands as he battles to overcome the foot injury which has kept him out of action since the summer, but is now ready to step up his training back in England.

The manager refused to put a date on a possible return to first team action, but was nevertheless encouraged as Carroll edges closer to fitness.

"We hope Andy will be back with us next week to start some training," Big Sam said.

"It's tentative in our approach to it. We have to be careful - we can't get over-anxious and push Andy too hard, we can't do anything other than what the specialists are saying, no matter how desperate our situation may become.

"When Andy's fit, we've got to get him fit to stay fit, not fit to a point where he may pick up another injury.

"We'll monitor it on a day-to-day basis and push forward his training on a level based on how he feels. Having not played a game sicne last May, it will take him some time to get him into a match fitness situation."

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