Bilic - Carroll could return

Andy Carroll
  • West Ham boss Slaven Bilic revealed Andy Carroll could return to Sunday’s matchday squad
  • The striker has been out with a knee injury since the opening day of the Premier League season
  • Bilic revealed Carroll is close to selection and could make the trip to Old Trafford

Slaven Bilic has revealed the Hammers could be on course for a huge boost on Sunday with the potential return of Andy Carroll to the first team squad.

The east Londoners take on Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League and star striker Carroll – who has not played since the opening game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in August – could be in line for selection.

The 27-year-old damaged his knee in the side’s away UEFA Europa League qualifier against Astra Giurgiu and, having played at Stamford Bridge, has been on the road to recovery since.

And Bilic, speaking ahead of the first of two matches in the space of four days against the Red Devils, revealed the forward could play a part in the north west.

He said: “Andy is training with us, and he’s come back from a long injury, so we are going to see. He’s very close.

“He could be in the squad. We are going to see, depending on how he progresses. He’s done individual training, has trained with the U23 squad, and now he is training with the first team.


Carroll has been back in training with the first team squad


“He’s back doing that this week, and that’s why two days is very important. But is he very close? Yes, definitely.”

Carroll made 36 appearances in claret and blue last season – including four against Sunday’s opponents – notching nine goals, second to only Dimitri Payet in the Club’s scoring charts.

Boss Bilic says his return will be extremely welcome given the qualities the striker can bring to the team.

“The things he gives us are great,” the manager continued. “When he is fit, he makes an impact on a game, no matter who you play against. It’s very hard to play against him.

“I’m hoping for the rest of the season with Andy. We have been talking about this since I came to West Ham and it’s a shame because you don’t see these things coming.

“You can only see it coming when you look at his record on paper. You don’t see it training or in games, but unfortunately it has happened a few times.”