Andy Carroll has been told he has been his own worst enemy when busting a gut to play for West Ham after time out injured.
Big hitman Carroll has endured his fair share of time sidelined through being crocked and has yet to feature this campaign through a thigh problem. But he looks set to figure in some way when the Hammers face Huddersfield Town on Monday at the London Stadium after failing to kick a ball in anger since April.
Ex-Newcastle attacker Carroll has got used to being labelled “injury-jinxed” and new club physio Gary Lewin believes a more patient approach to recovery will help the dynamic goal-getter’s appearance record.
For Carroll is learning to curb his enthusiasm when he returns from injury under the guidance of former Arsenal and England medical chief Lewin, who joined the club in the summer.
Now he is poised to be unleashed against the high-flying, newly-promoted Terriers, bossed by German coach David Wagner. And how Slaven Bilic could do with his goals given that his side sit rock-bottom of the Premier League having been defeated in their opening three matches.
And Lewin said: “He is such a robust, physical player,. Coming in cold on what has happened to him before, I think he was his own worst enemy. Once he could train he wants to play and when he plays there is no holding back.
“He has been training for just over two weeks and with the international break it will be even more by the time we get to Huddersfield, so he will be ready to start playing.
“When he does come back, it will be a gradual thing, you can’t just throw him in at the deep end. We did it with Diafra Sakho, he played for 20 minutes, then half an hour and then an hour. Andy will be the same, if we don’t do that then he will break down.
“He does want to play, that is all he wants to do. You hear a lot of nonsense about him not wanting to play, seriously he just wants to play football. Although that is a strength, it is also a problem because we have to manage him, but it is a good problem to have.”