West Ham United striker Andy Carroll was ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering another knee injury in last week's goalless draw with Southampton.
The Hammers hitman suffered medial ligament damage in the game at St Mary's and was spotted leaving the south coast club on crutches on Wednesday evening.
Sam Allardyce summed up the general frustration felt by everyone at Upton Park when it comes to Carroll's extensive list of fitness problems since moving to east London permanently in a club-record £16 million deal in the summer of 2013.
"We thought we were there with his fitness but at Liverpool and now Southampton, it's a concern for us all," he admitted. "Obviously, it is very depressing for Andy but he knows the process of recovery. He knows he has to be very strong."
West Ham have wasted little time in beginning Carroll's rehabilitation ahead of next season, after the 26-year-old went under the knife earlier with Doctor Andy Williams earlier this week.
The England international updated supporters via social media on the outcome of his operation, after uploading gruesome pictures of his knee post surgery on his official Instagram account.
Hammers fans will be hoping the actual damage is not as bad as the gory images suggest, with a view to getting the former Newcastle United man back fit and firing again in 2015/16.
Carroll has started just 24 Premier League games and scored seven goals over the past two years, which is a terrible return for one of the club's highest paid players who signed a six-year contract when he joined from Liverpool.
He missed the majority of last season with a recurring Achilles problem and was absent for the opening three months of this campaign after damaging ligaments whilst on West Ham's pre-season tour of New Zealand.
An impressive brace against Swansea City back in November signalled that Carroll was getting back to his best, but after contributing just five goals in 16 appearances this term the frequent knocks and niggles continue to affect him badly.
His participation in 2014/15 is now over, and Carroll will need to begin the long road to recovery in order to get back amongst the goals again next term.
On Tuesday, Carroll posted a photo from his hospital bed with his left knee bandaged up ahead of his operation, pleading with his online fan base to keep him entertained.
Boredom is likely to be a regular companion for Carroll over the coming months as he continues his rehab away from the football field in a bid to get back to 100 per cent fitness.
West Ham fans: Do you think Sam Allardyce regrets signing Andy Carroll? Will these recurring injury problems continue to blight his career? Share your thoughts below...
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