West Ham set to be handed boost with return of Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll is nearing a recovery from injury and will return to West Ham duty earlier than initially expected, The Mirror reports.

What’s the word?

West Ham have turned a corner under the guidance of Manuel Pellegrini, enjoying a four-match unbeaten streak in all competitions heading into Friday night’s clash with Brighton – and further good news could be on the horizon.

The Mirror reports that Andy Carroll is set to hand Pellegrini a boost as he nears a return to action from an ankle injury sustained in pre-season, which has left the England striker on the sidelines for the first few months of the campaign.

29-year-old Carroll could be back in around two weeks and would hand Pellegrini another option to lead the line, although he faces a battle to oust Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez from above him in the pecking order.

Crunch time for Carroll?

Out of contract at the end of the season and sliding down the pecking order in the past year following poor performances and numerous injury problems, Carroll seems to have one final chance to prove himself at West Ham.

Since joining the Hammers in 2013, Carroll has been a useful weapon for West Ham due to his strength and dominance in the air but it remains to be seen how that will fit into Pellegrini’s style – and he may instead find himself to be a back-up plan off the bench.

26 Premier League goals for West Ham is not an awful return but the fact he has made 90 appearances in five years shows how regular Carroll’s injury problems have been.