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'Plenty of time' for Carroll to be fit

West Ham officials are confident that England international Andy Carroll will be fighting fit for the start of the Premier League season.

• Thorne: Rumours spoil vibe

The 24-year-old completed a permanent move to Upton Park from Liverpool last month after leading the line for the Hammers last season while on loan from the Anfield club.

However, a heel injury has so far kept the club's record signing out of manager Sam Allardyce's pre-season squads, restricted to the training paddock as he continues his recovery.

But despite fears Carroll's injury may interrupt his preparations for the new season, assistant manager Neil McDonald was confident there was enough time to return the striker to the head of the attack.

"He is well under way in his rehab, he is working hard on the training ground and we just have to be a little bit patient," McDonald told Sky Sports.

"The injury that he has is quite extensive and it takes time for the body to heal itself. He is doing everything he can to push on.

"He has been working really hard and there is still plenty of time for him to get himself fit for the start of the season."

However, West Ham may not need to rely solely on Carroll's goals to shoot the club up the ladder, with McDonald confirming the club are still in the market to strengthen the squad.

"The manager and the hierarchy are working very hard behind the scenes to strengthen the team even more," he said.

"If we can bring one or two others in to give competition for places we will be in a really good place come the 17th of August."

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