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25th Nov 2016

Slaven Bilić drops Andy Carroll bombshell ahead of Man United v West Ham

He hasn't played since August.

Tom Victor

Be honest, how many of you had forgotten all about Andy Carroll.

The West Ham forward is in the middle of one of his all-too-frequent injury absences and has not featured since the club’s Europa League playoff against Astra Giurgiu back in August.

However, just one week after welcoming Carroll’s fellow frontman Diafra Sakho back from a long layoff, Slaven Bilić has revealed that the former Newcastle and Liverpool player could return to action at Old Trafford on Sunday.

West Ham are set for a double-header against Manchester United, with a League Cup quarter-final following the league meeting, and Bilić said the £15m man was “very close” to a first-team recall.

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier LeagueMichael Regan/Getty Images

“He could be in the squad. We are going to see, depending on how he progresses,” the manager told West Ham’s official site.

“He’s done individual training, has trained with the U23 squad, and now he is training with the first team.”

West Ham have been without a number of players for extended periods this season, with Gökhan Töre joining Carroll in returning to training this month and Reece Oxford, Sam Byram and Arthur Masuaku still sidelined.

Record signing André Ayew only recently returned after picking up an injury in August, while Aaron Cresswell missing all of August and September.

The club will also be without Winston Reid for Sunday’s game after the centre-back was sent off at Tottenham last weekend.

And, while Hammers fans are keen to welcome back one of their most dangerous forwards, some are concerned that he could pick up another injury if he returns before he is ready.

Catch up with this week’s episode of Football Friday Live