English Premiership

Carroll 'injury-free' - Bilic

2015-08-27 15:04
Andy Carroll (AP)

London - West Ham United's Andy Carroll is "injury-free" but will not be fit for the Hammers' Premier League clash with his former club Liverpool on Saturday, although he could feature against his other former club, Newcastle United, on September 14.

The towering centre-forward trained with the club's first-team squad on Tuesday for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in February.

"Today Andy Carroll is going to train with us and he's improving. He's injury-free, it's only a matter of fitness now to get him back," West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.

"Before he joined us he had a minor setback but this week he is partly training with us and then if everything goes well over the international break he should participate in the game against Newcastle," the manager added.

The 26-year-old Carroll joined Liverpool from Newcastle for 35 million pounds ($54 million), the highest amount ever paid for a British footballer at the time.

However, he was eased out of Merseyside following the arrival of current manager Brendan Rodgers and joined the Hammers on loan from Liverpool in August 2012 before the East Londoners bought him the following season for a reported £15 million.

He has made just 46 league starts in his two seasons at West Ham due to a string of injuries, the latest of which came during last season's goalless draw against Southampton on Feb. 11.

Bilic also said he was hopeful forward Diafra Sakho would be able to make the squad although fellow striker Mauro Zarate has been ruled out.

"For Saturday, up front we have a few injuries and we have limited options," the manager said.

"We are hoping Diafra will be available for Saturday. He's felt a little stiffness in his groin but it is not major.

"It looks like Sakho is going to be OK for Liverpool," he added.

"Zarate is progressing well but he will not be ready for Saturday," the manager said.

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