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Carroll close to West Ham return

ESPN staff
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Andy Carroll is expected to make a return to playing action for West Ham in November, the Sun reports.

Carroll, 24, originally injured himself during the final game of the 2013-14 campaign before suffering a fresh setback on his return to training in September.

The England striker is now running pain-free and is undergoing treatment at a clinic in Belgium in a bid to improve his chances of making a full recovery.

A West Ham source is quoted by the Sun as saying: "It's good news all the way at the moment. He's happy and making a very good recovery indeed."

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Daily Mail, Carroll has spoken of his anguish at being sidelined for such a long period of time.

"When you're injured it can be lonely at the training ground and stressful," Carroll said. "You're there every day, seeing all the lads going out and training, enjoying themselves and talking about it afterwards.

"I still talk to the lads from out here. They're a top bunch and I like to keep in touch with what's going on. And Sam [Allardyce], the manager, has been great. He calls me a lot to see how I'm getting on. We also live close to each other in London and we'll bump into each other in restaurants and stuff.

"But it's good being here in this environment, surrounded by athletes from football as well as different sports, all working together to get back to fitness. And we talk. I chat to the cyclists and the basketball players. It's interesting, meeting people I wouldn't normally get the chance to talk to. I wouldn't say I'm enjoying it because at the end of the day I'm injured, but it's as enjoyable as it could be in the circumstances."

He added: "The injury has been a bit of a nightmare. Apparently it's not something you see too often in football. It's more common in things like ballet. I've got to say I'm not much of a dancer - although I'll give it a good go.

"It was hard for anyone to know what to do but Lieven's [Maesschalck, a Belgian physiotherapist whose specialty is rehabilitating orthopaedic injuries across a variety of sports] seen a few of these injuries so we decided it was the best place to be. I've been coming here for a few weeks. I fly out on a Sunday night and work from Monday morning until Saturday afternoon, just going back home for a night.

"I do three or four hours here and then go to the pool for deep-water running. I'm working very hard and I actually feel pretty fit."

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