Reports suggest Andy Carroll is still weeks away from full fitness despite returning to training.
The 24-year old centre forward has not yet played for the Hammers since his £17.5million move from Liverpool in the summer because of nagging foot, ankle and heel injuries.
Carroll has returned to training but will not appear for Sam Allardyce’s side before the New Year but the West Ham boss says he is sticking by the former Newcastle United man.
“Based on what we were told, Andy would have been fit and ready to go at the back end of August,” he said ahead of the weekend’s home clash with Sunderland.
“On that basis, at 24 years old, we thought that he was going to be okay. There are always players that at some stage can have spate of injuries and overcome them.
“So if I refer to Ryan Giggs, for example. Everybody thought that he would never get past 30 with the considerable amount of injuries that he had. They were constant - week after week. But he’s still playing at 40.
“So my opinion is that when Andy reaches full maturity, in terms of his body’s full development, I hope that those injuries will become less and less frequent.
“You also have to say that the commitment of players like him always puts them a little bit more risk of injury because he does go where angels fear to tread.
“That’s why he’s such a good player in my view – unique, sadly, in this country today. We should have more Andy Carrolls in and around the Premier League because, in full flow, we all know how exciting they can be.”
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