Last Updated: Sat, 03 Aug 2013 12:08
Andy Carroll is aiming to hand West Ham a boost by being fit for their Premier League curtain-raiser against Cardiff in a fortnight.
The England international striker joined the Hammers on a permanent basis from Liverpool for a club-record fee this summer following a successful loan spell at Upton Park last term.
However, Carroll has not featured in any of boss Sam Allardyce's pre-season teams because of a heel problem which has hampered him since the final game of last season.
The former Newcastle man has been building up his fitness levels on the training ground without kicking a ball but is unlikely to be ready for a run-out against Champions League qualifiers Pacos de Ferreira at Upton Park next Saturday.
However, Carroll is refusing to accept defeat in his bid to be included in the matchday squad for when the newly-promoted Bluebirds arrive in east London the following weekend.
He told West Ham TV: "I've been working hard. I've been away to Germany with the lads and keeping myself as fit as I can with the work I can do with my heel still being sore.
"It's been tough but I've been working hard to be back for the beginning of the season. I'm doing a lot of cardiovascular work to keep my fitness up without stressing my heel, which means going on the rowing machine and on the bike and doing all the things I don't like, really! I've been working hard, hopefully I'll be back for the start of the season."
He added: "I couldn't think of anything worse than being injured during pre-season. It's painful to watch everyone else going out and having a laugh and me just doing one-on-one physio work in the gym. It's a nightmare but I've just got to get myself fit and ready."
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