Andy Carroll: West Ham striker close to return from injury

Andy Carroll, West Ham
Former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll scored five goals in 16 appearances for West Ham last season

West Ham striker Andy Carroll could return from injury against former club Newcastle on 14 September after recommencing first-team training.

The 26-year-old has been out since February following knee surgery after suffering medial ligament damage.

"It's only a matter of fitness now to get him back," said Hammers boss Slaven Bilic.

"If everything goes well he should participate in the game against Newcastle."

Carroll is starting his fourth season at Upton Park, including a loan spell preceding his £15m switch, and has made 46 Premier League starts in that time.

Andy Carroll's injury record at West Ham
September 2012: Picks up hamstring injury in his first game on loan - out for a month
November 2012: Twists knee against Manchester United - sidelined for two months
May 2013: Damages heel in the last game of the season - out for seven months
July 2014: Tears ankle ligaments in pre-season - out for four months
February 2015: Knee surgery - misses the next seven months

Meanwhile, striker Enner Valencia, 25, has apologised after being quoted as criticising the club's medical staff of refusing to keep him updated on the ankle injury he suffered in the 2-2 Europa League draw against Astra Giurgiu last month.

Bilic said: "Enner has apologised for his comments and he's back in a normal routine. The medical department is trying very hard to get him back."

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