Andy Carroll will miss the rest of West Ham's pre-season tour of New Zealand after suffering yet another injury setback, according to the club's official website.
The 25-year-old was withdrawn from the squad to face Wellington in a friendly on Wednesday after he sustained a sore left ankle during training.
The injury is not a reoccurrence of the one that kept him out for the majority of last season and it is expected, after he receives intensive treatment, that he will be fit for the start of the new campaign.
“Andy Carroll will miss both games on the Football United tour of New Zealand as a precautionary measure after developing a sore left ankle during training,” read the club statement.
“After assessment by the club’s medical experts, it was decided to let the England international rest for both remaining games and receive intensive treatment to ensure he is fit for the start of the season.
“It should be clear that the affected area is not in any way associated with the previous injury he successfully overcame towards the end of last season.”
Same old story
It is a familiar occurrence for the Geordie striker, who only managed 16 appearances in total during 2013/14 and scored just two goals.
He missed the entire pre-season campaign prior to that miserable term and the England international did not return to the side until January. Hammers boss Sam Allardyce will be hoping it is not the same story this time around.
A lot of emphasis has been put on Carroll’s fitness ever since he arrived at West Ham from Liverpool and he is yet to justify his hefty price tags because of his injury-prone nature.
He can be devastating when in form but he is missing from the side all too often and it is obvious that his teammates miss his physical presence when he is not there to lead the line.
It is pivotal that Allardyce’s main man stays fit this season if West Ham are to better their 13th place finish and make the climb into the top half of the league table, which is their season objective.
The Hammers began their Football United Tour with a loss in Auckland against a Phoenix team that finished ninth in the 10-team A-League last season.
Big Sam’s side were beaten 2-1 by Wellington, with new Argentinian signing Mauro Zarate scoring a consolation goal after they conceded twice in the first half.
Zarate and fellow new-boy Enner Valencia – who is still awaiting a work permit to be granted – are going to be vital to the Hammers success during the new season if Carroll’s injury problems continue.
West Ham’s second and final game of the tour in New Zealand is against Sydney FC in Wellington on Saturday as they continue to prepare for their opening Premier League fixture at home to Tottenham on August 16.