Sam Allardyce admitted this morning that he has no idea when Andy Carroll is likely to regain full fitness.The England striker is yet to kick a ball for West Ham since making a Club record £15million switch from Liverpool in the summer - much to the frustration of Allardyce, who maintains he is unsure when the 24-year-old is likely to play again.
"We're trying to get a date out of the guys over in Amsterdam," revealed the manager, "but they are reluctant to give us any clear indication of when he's going to be able to join us back here and start training with the squad and getting back into the team.
"It's obviously a great worry and concern for us all and one we have to make sure we deal wtih. To take the pressure off, we need results that we haven't achieved in the first eleven games."
Already severely hampered by the loss of defensive linchpin Winston Reid, there was more injury woe for Big Sam ahead of this weekend's clash with Chelsea after Razvan Rat limped out of Romania's World Cup play-off against Greece on Tuesday. He too looks set to miss this weekend's big London derby.
"Razvan is a difficult situation," said Allardyce. "He came off with a hamstring injury after 25 minutes [on Tuesday]. George McCartney is just back to match-fitness, but we're short in the defensive area. We cannot really afford to suffer any more in the defensive area because Winston Reid is also out.
"Any injury comes at a bad time, especially when it happens to your international players, because they are generally your first-team players. We're calculating the injury list at the moment, but we're hopeful that James Collins' and Joey O'Brien's injuries will not keep them out of selection for Chelsea.
"That's just our luck at the moment because three defenders have been blighted by injuries on international duty, but hopefully James and Joey will recover although Razvan looks like a difficult one at the moment."
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