Andy Carroll nearing comeback after training with West Ham first team
West Ham striker Andy Carroll is closing in on a Premier League return after he trained with the club's first-team squad on Tuesday.
Carroll has been sidelined since February after undergoing knee surgery and has been eased back into training with the Hammers' Under-21 squad in recent weeks.
A statement on West Ham's official website said: "Andy Carroll trained with the first-team squad on Tuesday and he will continue to do so as he continues to build up his match fitness ahead of a competitive return to action."
The 26-year-old could now be in contention to face former clubs Liverpool on August 29 or Newcastle on September 14.
Meanwhile, Hammers striker Enner Valencia moved to support the club's doctors after appearing to hit out in relation to the leg injury he suffered in the Europa League match with Astra Giurgiu last month.
"I have had a number of consultation meetings with specialists in London, accompanied by members of the club's medical staff, and they have always kept me updated me on my injury," he said in a statement.
"It has been a frustrating time, but I would like to make clear that I have the utmost respect and confidence in the club's medical team and the specialists I was referred to, and I would like to apologise to them and the club for any issues arising from the recent press coverage.
"It is not possible to put an exact date on when I might be back on the pitch, but you can be rest assured that I am motivated to get fit and score more goals for West Ham United as soon as I can."
Irish Independent Sport Star Awards
Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.