Carroll steps up recovery

Andy Carroll is working hard in the gym and pool as he recovers from a knee injury
Andy Carroll ticked off a significant milestone in his recovery from knee surgery last week when he left the crutches and knee brace behind to step up his work in the gym and swimming pool.
Carroll had to go under the surgeon’s knife to repair damage to his medial knee ligament after suffering the injury at Southampton in February and had to keep the knee immobilised for the first stage of his rehabilitation.
Under the watchful eye of the Club’s head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke, Carroll has now been able to increase his workload as he aims to leave behind the injuries which have hampered him over the past two seasons.
The 26-year-old is pleased to have taken another step along the road to recovery.
He said: “I’m feeling alright. It’s a lot better, getting off the crutches, out of the brace and being able to move more on the bike and do some work in the pool.
“It’s good to come in to work at the training ground and see the lads too. If you’re working away from the Club you might not see them for a while, but it’s nice to come in in the mornings and have breakfast and lunch with them.
“I couldn’t move my leg for a month or so after the operation. I was at 90 degrees and I couldn’t really do any more, but doing work where I can move now is good.
“Last week was the first time I went in the pool and there’ll be a lot more new stuff to come as well.”
It’s a lot better, getting off the crutches, out of the brace and being able to move more on the bike and do some work in the pool
For Vandenbroucke, he is pleased with the progress his charge has made since his surgery.
He explained: “We’ve reached week six of Andy’s rehab so we’ve increased the exercises. He’s on the bike, he’s in the pool and we’re doing more exercises in the gym.
“It’s becoming more enjoyable now, the most boring stuff is behind us so we’re looking forward to the next phase of the rehab.
“It’s important that we don’t get carried away too much and on the other hand it’s important we don’t do too little, so it’s about finding the right balance between me, Andy and the knee.
“We’ve made good progress. He’s very good and works hard. The knee doesn’t react so we’re very happy.
“Next he’s going to work hard in the pool, and you can really work hard fitness-wise in the pool to start building that up again. It doesn’t mean that he has not worked hard before – he has been drilled core-wise and muscle-wise. Now he will continue to work, we can just increase the volume.”
After returning to Chadwell Heath last week, Carroll is currently continuing his rehab with a Hammers physio in the warmer environment of Dubai, giving the striker the optimal conditions to work in as he increases the intensity of his work.