West Ham striker Andy Carroll admits he was 'devastated' when he was injured on his debut for the Hammers last month and cannot hide his delight to return to action ahead of schedule after his hamstring injury.
Carroll made a late appearance in West Ham's fine 2-1 win against QPR at Loftus Road on Monday night and he has given an insight into his frustration looking games from the stands as he has settled into life at the third Premier League club of his colourful career.
"I have been dying to get back from the moment I got injured," Carroll told the West Ham website. "I've been working hard in the gym and the staff here have helped me to get back fit and obviously coming on at QPR and helping the lads to get the win was great.
"I was devastated when I got injured, but I've worked hard and I've been the gym every day. I've only been out on the training pitch a handful of times since so it was great to be out there at Loftus Road playing football again.
"All the medical staff here are great and they have worked well with us. I've been over the moon with what I've been doing and obviously that has made for a speedy recovery. I had only trained a handful of times so it was touch-and-go, but all the staff have been great with me.
"I felt fine and obviously they wouldn't have risked me if I had any problems. The medical side have been great. As soon as I stopped feeling the hamstring a week or two ago, I wanted to get back on the pitch but they wouldn't let me because they told me it wasn't right. I've had to keep working on it and I've got it right and got 20 minutes on Monday night. I'm absolutely fine."
The on-loan Liverpool hit-man in confident mood ahead of Saturday's big derby clash with Arsenal at Upton Park, with the confidence flowing through the West Ham dressing room after their hugely promising start to life back in the Premier League.
"We showed that quality at QPR in what was a tough game at a tough place to go," he added. "It was great to get the win and the three points are we looking forward to the Arsenal game. There is a great atmosphere in the dressing room and there s lots of banter is flying around. Everyone here is in it for each other and you can see they are behind each other in games. It's the same on the training ground. I'm really enjoying it."
Carroll is unlikely to start against Arsenal on Saturday, after Hammers boss Allardyce told ESPN that his star striker was 'woefully short' of match practice, but he will again be a potent weapon to have in reserve on the bench.