West Ham United have been forced to deal with news of another fitness blow, with the club confirming that Andy Carroll is set to miss the rest of the season due to a knee operation.
Carroll, 26, suffered medial knee ligament damage after coming on as a second-half substitute in Wednesday night’s 0-0 draw at Southampton, but was forced to limp through the closing stages after West Ham had made all three changes.
Manager Sam Allardyce had hoped that the striker would be back in his squad within two months, but a statement on the club’s official website has since revealed that the diagnosis is much more serious.
“Andy Carroll will have surgery on his injured knee on Tuesday following assessment by a specialist on Friday afternoon,” the statement read.
“The England international injured his left knee during the second half of Wednesday night’s 0-0 Premier League draw at Southampton. The recovery phase is expected to keep Carroll out for the remainder of the 2014-15 season.”
Carroll has been available for just 53 of West Ham’s 99 Premier League games since arriving from Liverpool in August 2012 on an initial season-long loan, having suffered various injuries during his time at Upton Park.
The England international tore his ankle ligaments during the club’s pre-season tour of New Zealand which forced him to miss the first 11 top-flight matches of this campaign, before returning to action in November’s 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.
His form has been solid when fit, having netted five goals in 16 total appearances over recent months, but the Hammers will now be forced to depend on summer signings Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia, as well as Carlton Cole, during their push for a European place.
Their partnership proved effective at the start of the season in Carroll’s absence, but that hasn’t stopped most Twitter-based supporters from lamenting another long-term setback for their imposing front man.
Carroll out for the rest if the season... SHOCK!!! #whufc— Craig Grote (@craiggr23) February 13, 2015
So Andy Carroll out for the rest of the season. You couldn't make it up!!! #whufc— GEEDEE (@GEEDEE35) February 13, 2015
Carroll out isn't necessarily a bad thing. See August - November 2014. #whufc— Rick'Fry (@rickhimself101) February 13, 2015
Maybe we should just wrap Andy Carroll in cotton wool for 18 months and unveil him at the Olympic Stadium? #whufc— Nathaniel John (@Nathaniel_John) February 13, 2015
It comes down to whether or not that point against Southampton was worth Carroll being out for the season on his 90k p/w contract #whufc— alex light (@alex_light1) February 13, 2015
The frightening thing is these knuckle draggers who are pleased andy Carroll is out for the season are going to be able to vote !! #whufc— Bob Clark (@bobclark56) February 13, 2015
Bye bye Andy Carroll. Football will miss your height, your... Well, your height. #whufc— Deppo (@DeppoInExile) February 13, 2015
Joking aside, you have to feel for Andy Carroll. Just working back to fitness and another setback. Need Sakho & Valencia to last now! #WHUFC— Nathaniel John (@Nathaniel_John) February 13, 2015
Carroll may be out for the season but we didn't sell Carlton Cole. Every cloud has a silver lining doesn't it. #whufc— alex light (@alex_light1) February 13, 2015
I feel for the bloke but #WHUFC must look to sell Carroll in the summer. We're currently paying him £90k a week to play 10 games a season...— Jon Barmby (@jonbarmby) February 13, 2015
Carroll shouldn't have been in the squad for Wednesday. Clearly carrying an injury or he would've started. Stupid man management #whufc— Robert Truscott (@robtruscott) February 13, 2015
Seeing a lot "Hard luck on Andy Carroll" on my TL. At what point is a player unlucky or just perennially injured? #WHUFC— Tough Tackler (@thetoughtackler) February 13, 2015
Carroll always leaves everything on the pitch. Undeserving of the injuries that have dogged his career. Been in good form too. #whufc— Sam 父 Thorne (@SamuelJThorne) February 13, 2015
Does Andy Carroll look after his body?? If so, no blame on him at all. #whufc— Kieran Poole (@KieranJPoole) February 13, 2015