Carroll keeping his spirits up

Roy Carroll is staying in a positive frame of mind as he continues his arduous recovery from injury.

The Hammers goalkeeper was given a warm welcome when he popped into the Chadwell Heath training ground on Thursday morning, after recently undergoing an operation on the troublesome back problem that has plagued him for most of the season.

Having been forced on to the sidelines for the past two months, the Northern Ireland international now faces an uphill battle to make a first team return before the end of the campaign, and admits that the setback has been tough to deal with.

"It's very frustrating," says Roy. "This is the longest spell I've had out injured in my career, and it's been very difficult, but that is part of life as a footballer and the only thing you can do is look forward and try to stay positive.

"I'm the type of person who wants to bounce back as soon as I can and hopefully I will come back stronger after this. The operation went fine and everything is looking good now. I'm moving around a lot easier and am pretty much on schedule with my rehabilitation.

"It's difficult, though, because you have to be very careful with back injuries," he adds. "I've had specialists looking after me and monitoring my progress, but I haven't set any targets in terms of a date for coming back

"It's an old cliché, but I'm just taking each day as it comes and focusing on the work I need to do. You never know in football, if my progress suddenly speeds up then I could be looking at playing again before the end of the season, but the main thing is that I just keep working hard and get myself right, however long it takes."

For now, the 28-year-old will have to make do with watching from the sidelines as Alan Pardew's men aim for a strong finish to the Premiership campaign and look forward to the prestige of an FA Cup semi-final next month - a thought he certainly doesn't need reminding of!

"It's great to see the boys doing well, but I would much prefer to be out there with them!" says Roy. "It's only natural to be a bit envious of the lads who are going to be involved in an FA Cup semi-final in a few weeks, but they fully deserve it and it is a fantastic time for everyone at the Club.

"It's also nice to be at the training ground again. I haven't spent too much time here recently because I've been with the back specialists near where I live almost every day, but there is a tremendous spirit around the squad at the moment and it's nice to be back among it all again."