Belfast Telegraph

Carroll comes through practice game

England forward Andy Carroll stepped up his rehabilitation by completing the full hour of West Ham's behind-closed-doors match against Southend on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old has yet to feature this season after under going ankle surgery, but if he shows no ill effects could come into contention for Saturday's Barclays Premier League encounter against Aston Villa.

The prospect of a return for the 6ft 3ins striker, signed in a club-record £15million deal from Liverpool in June 2013, would give Irons boss Sam Allardyce more options, with summer signing Diafra Sakho expected to be available again following a shoulder problem.

Defender Winston Reid is another who could be in the squad this weekend after a dead leg.

West Ham have impressed during their opening 10 league games, currently sitting fifth with Senegal forward Sakho having scored in seven successive matches before his injury in the win over champions Manchester City on October 25.

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