By Will Butcher
West Ham have received a huge injury boost ahead of Monday night’s clash against Chelsea as Andy Carroll has returned to first-team training.
Carroll, 28, has been sidelined with a groin injury for the majority of last month after being withdrawn during a 3-1 win against Southampton with the problem.
The Hammers’ head of medical and sports science, Stijn Vandenbroucke, also delivered positive news on injured duo Diafra Sakho and Angelo Ogbonna after both went under the knife.
Vandenbroucke revealed that attacker Sakho is now in the final stages of rehab after a back operation, while Ogbonna is back at Rush Green following his knee surgery in January.
“Andy Carroll returned to training with the squad on Wednesday after working for the previous four days individually on the pitch,” Vandenbroucke told West Ham’s official website.
“Diafra is now entering a critical phase of his rehab as he steps up the intensity of the fitness work he is doing on the pitch.
“Finally, Angelo is back with us at Rush Green and is working on his rehab on a daily basis after undergoing surgery on his knee.”
The physio’s news will come as a huge boost to Hammers fans, who will be desperate to see the trio return to first-team action.
Carroll, who has been the subject of three reported bids from Chinese Super League clubs this week, will be keen to return and continue his impressive goalscoring form against Chelsea.
The England international has scored twice in his last three games against the Blues, and could return to be a thorn in Chelsea’s defence at the London Stadium on Monday.
Although Monday will be too early for Sakho, the attacker will be hopeful that he can feature in the Hammers’ Premier League run in after making just two appearances all season.
Italy international Ogbonna is unlikely to play for the rest of the season after his serious injury against Middlesbrough, but his return to Rush Green will be good news to Hammers fans.
In other West Ham news, the east London outfit are reportedly eyeing a move for this summer target.