West Ham hit by Andy Carroll injury blow

London: West Ham striker Andy Carroll has revealed he will miss the start of the Premier League season after suffering a serious ankle injury.

Carroll was sidelined for much of last season due to a recurring foot problem and the England international`s injury troubles have resurfaced before the new campaign is even underway.

The 25-year-old, who cost West Ham a club record £15 million ($25 million), had already been ruled out of his side`s two friendlies on their current tour of New Zealand as a result of the ankle problem.

And reports suggest Carroll could now be out for up to another four months after the former Liverpool and Newcastle star admitted he requires surgery to fix the issue.

"Going under the knife tomorrow morning and absolutely devastated to be missing the start of the season!," Carroll tweeted on Thursday.

The news will come as a major blow to Hammers` boss Sam Allardyce as he looks to improve on the east London club`s 13th place finish in the Premier League last term.

Carroll had enjoyed a successful loan spell at Upton Park during the 2012-13 campaign and agreed to a permanent move from Liverpool ahead of the following season.

But a heel injury kept him sidelined for longer than West Ham had hoped and he made just 16 appearances in all competitions.

With Carroll`s fitness a constant problem, Allardyce had already identified the need to add extra fire-power to his squad ahead of the new season before his striker`s latest injury nightmare.

Mauro Zarate has signed from Velez Sarsfield and only a work permit application is keeping Ecuador`s World Cup star Enner Valencia from joining from Pachuca.

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