Video - Carroll targets August return

Andy Carroll is all smiles as he looks forward to making a welcome return to action for West Ham United.

The England centre forward has been side-lined since undergoing surgery on a knee injury back in February but, six months on, he is looking lean and keen to pull on a Hammers shirt again.

Manager Slaven Bilic has revealed that Carroll could be back on the pitch before August is out – welcome news to the big man.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he told West Ham TV, while talking through his favourite moments on the Boleyn Ground pitch. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been on this pitch, but it’s not long to go now and I’m looking forward to being back.

“I’ve been working hard and I’m nearly back fit so it’s all positive. As the Gaffer has said, by the end of the month I hope to be back.

“It’s the last season at the Boleyn Ground so I’m looking forward to being here and playing here and getting back and getting a few goals here.”

Carroll has scored goals and created roars at St James’ Park, Anfield and Wembley during his career, but the No9 says the sound at the home of the Hammers is something uniquely special.

“It’s great when you’re playing at home at any club, but it’s fantastic here when you’re winning,” he explained. “You can hear them and it’s like you’ve got all those fans behind you and it’s great to hear them.”

While he may not be available for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League visit of Leicester City, the visit of the Foxes conjures a fond memory for the 26-year-old.

Last December, the striker scored his favourite goal in Claret and Blue, running from the halfway line before clipping the ball over Leicester goalkeeper Ben Hamer.

“I think people forgot about my pace!” he laughed. “I showed a little bit of pace there, put it into action and dinked the keeper. It was nice to come back from injury and score one like that. It was great!”