Carroll injury woe continues
Andy Carroll's recent injury nightmares show no sign of abating with the West Ham striker now expected to miss the remainder of the season with a knee problem.
The 26-year-old has struggled for fitness ever since he moved to Upton Park, initially on loan, in the summer of 2012 and now requires surgery on a ligament injury suffered in Wednesday's 0-0 draw at Southampton.
The operation is likely to take place on Tuesday but the club confirmed the recovery period is likely to extend beyond the end of the current campaign.
Speaking to the press on Friday morning before the full extent of the injury was known, Hammers boss Sam Allardyce was hopeful to have had the forward back in his squad inside two months. However, t he blow has only increased in size after the club announced the outcome of a meeting with a specialist, with Carroll now set for his second surgery of the season.
"Andy Carroll will have surgery on his injured knee on Tuesday following assessment by a specialist on Friday afternoon," a brief statement on West Ham's official website read.
"The England international injured his left knee during the second half of Wednesday night's 0-0 Barclays Premier League draw at Southampton. The recovery phase is expected to keep Carroll out for the remainder of the 2014/15 season."
Allardyce confirmed that this is a new issue and has said Carroll must remain strong to overcome another spell on the sidelines: " It is a completely new injury,'' he explained.
"We thought it might be a recurrence but we have analysed it, unfortunately it is a new one and looks more serious than the original one.
"It is traumatic when someone is going through a period where you overcome one injury and another occurs. We thought we were there and then (he was injured against) Liverpool and now this one in a short period of time.
"It is very depressing for Andy but he knows the process and he has to be strong to overcome this injury as quickly as possible.''
The latest injury for Carroll comes following a history of fitness problems since he first moved to Upton Park, initially on a season-long loan from Liverpool, in 2012.
No-one could have foreseen what would become a regular occurrence when Carroll was injured on his debut, missing a month with a hamstring issue.
A twisted knee later in the year left him sidelined for two further months and then he suffered a serious heel injury on the final day of the season before he completed a permanent transfer in the summer of 2013.
Despite becoming the Hammers' record signing, Carroll missed seven months as he worked back to fitness - but his issues would return last summer when he required ankle surgery after suffering a problem before the opening pre-season game on a tour of New Zealand.
Carroll returned in November and his latest setback comes after he had scored five goals in 16 appearances and leaves Allardyce with Carlton Cole, Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho as his three available options in attack.
But one piece of good news for the club came when the Football Association confirmed they had upheld an appeal against Adrian's red card in the Southampton stalemate - with the Spaniard now available for Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round tie at West Brom.
However, the club now face a fresh battle after the FA confirmed they have been charged for failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion following referee Craig Pawson's decision to show a red card to Adrian.
The 28-year-old was dismissed by Pawson after he fell onto the loose ball outside of his penalty area under heavy pressure from Saints' forward Sadio Mane, with Allardyce revealing after the game that the club would appeal immediately as he felt his goalkeeper had been fouled in the lead-up to the incident - something he reiterated during Friday's press briefing.
"Was it a goal-scoring opportunity? Clearly we don't think it was," said Allardyce.
"As far as I am concerned, in the way we have looked at it, it's a handball and you don't get sent off for that.
"You get sent off if it is denying a goal-scoring opportunity. And if you look at the situation, even though we think it was a foul, it wasn't denying a goal-scoring opportunity."
And the club's decision has since been vindicated, with an FA statement issued on Friday afternoon confirming the appeal had been upheld, whilst Adrian tweeted his pleasure with the decision to allow him to play at the Hawthorns: "Great work by the club winning the appeal against my red card on Wednesday game (sic). Ready for tomorrow," he wrote.