Sam Allardyce has suggested that Andy Carroll could be back playing again within two or three weeks, but he should not be considered for a first-team place.
In Carroll's absence West Ham United have improved hugely and he should be nothing more than a 'plan-b' option at the club now.
The Hammers have played with an aesthetically pleasing brand of football and been hugely successful so far this season. They now must stick with this style for the foreseeable future.
By bringing Carroll back into the team, regardless of what is being coached in the training ground, Allardyce risks going back to the direct-style which has frustrated the supporters around Upton Park so much.
With Carroll on the pitch there is a natural instinct to launch the ball towards his head and feed of the scraps, but West Ham are proving they are better and more inventive than that.
The strike pairing of Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia has already returned eight goals this season and Allardyce should be building his team around these two front-men.
The pace and power of the duo are helping to stretch teams and creating more spaces for the Hammers' creative outlets to perform in.
Added to this, they both pose an aerial threat and look far more well-rounded performers than Carroll.
Allardyce may have parted with a lot of money back in 2013 to secure the transfer of the England international, but the club have advanced in his absence and he should be considered surplus to requirements from now on.