Injury-plagued West Ham striker Andy Carroll calms fears over new setback after knock

Enner Valencia, Andy Carroll, Mark Noble

West Ham United's injury plagued striker Andy Carroll has moved to calm fears he has suffered a new setback after picking up a knock against Norwich City.

The big striker is taking the first tentative steps in his latest comeback from a long-term injury, playing about 90 minutes across three games since his return.

Carroll has been sidelined for eight months and is under pressure to resurrect a career that has so far been curtailed by a succession of injuries.

The former England forward has been told by both Sam Allardyce, as reported by the Mirror, and new boss Bilic – quoted by the same paper – that he must alter his approach if he is to stay fit.

New setback rumours denied

On Saturday against Norwich, Carroll – on as a second-half substitute – went thundering into a challenge which left him hobbling around for a few minutes.

Hammers fans feared the worst, as did manager Bilic, but luckily the big Geordie seemed to shake it off.

Rumours on internet forums and social media this week claimed Carroll had been sent for scans and could face another spell out as a result of the knock.

But he has taken to Twitter to flatly deny those claims.

Responding to a question from a Hammers fan asking the striker whether he was injured again, Carroll simply replied: "Nope."

So there you have it, word straight from the horse's mouth which should ease fears that the big Geordie star faces another spell in the treatment room.

The Carroll conundrum

One of the main reasons Hammers fans love Carroll, and have shown such patience with him through all the injuries, is that committed, all-action approach.

Much like the dilemma that faced Wayne Rooney and more recently Jack Wilshere is will trying to change that side of his game diminish his influence on the pitch?

His style is a throw back to the halcyon days of English football, but while it might win him admirers it is also impacting his career.

He may have been seen as rather foolish to go rushing into a tackle so soon after returning from injury against the Canaries.

But on the other hand, his late brave challenge in the air with Norwich 'keeper John Ruddy set up teammate Cheikhou Kouyate for the equaliser.

It is a difficult balance and one Bilic must try to get right if he is to get the best out of the target man.

Having made just 27 appearances and scoring seven goals in the two years since making his move to Upton Park from Liverpool permanent for a club record fee, it is time Carroll started repaying West Ham's faith in him on the pitch.

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