Andy Carroll’s latest injury is likely to keep him out until April at the earliest and, if he doesn’t recover before the end of the season, then the striker may well have played his last game for West Ham United.
The ankle problem required surgery in January and is the latest in a long line of fitness issues for the ex-England international.
And whilst West Ham have remained patient in the past, surely the time has now come for a parting of the ways.
Carroll was pictured over the weekend drinking the night before the Hammers’ crushing 4-1 defeat to Swansea City.
Despite not being fit for the clash, the images represented what many West Ham fans, rightly or wrongly, think of the forward; that he is more interested in picking up his enormous pay package than getting into shape to help his side.
One of the best headers of the ball in the division, Carroll is now seen as little more than a useful option from the Hammers bench, after seeing the sport catch up with him over recent seasons.
Opposition teams know that keeping a high line tends to limit the West Ham forward’s influence on proceedings and he has not sufficiently developed the more technical areas of his game to be able to play any other way.
His first touch is suspect and his link-up play is not consistent enough to warrant a regular place in the Irons’ line-up.
Thus said, we might won’t see Carroll in World Cup in Russia this year. The opinion is different among the fans and England squad, but you can bet that the manager will call up his best players, who can provide efficiency and performance. While predictions are various, some of the best betting sites for World Cup will offer you the most attractive odds and you definitely should check them out.
Compared with someone like Peter Crouch, who at 37 is still going strong in the Premier League, and perhaps there is some truth to the notion that Carroll has simply not put the work in across the course of his career.
Indeed, the viewing public have rarely seen the best of the 29-year-old since he departed Newcastle United for Liverpool in January 2011.
Carroll insisted after the move that he never wanted to leave his boyhood club, but rather was forced out as the Magpies needed the money from his transfer.
It begs the question as to whether or not his heart has really been in it since arriving at Anfield.
A record of 52 top-flight goals seems a measly return considering the West Ham target man already had 14 to his name by the time he made the switch to the Reds at the tender age of 22.
Again, it is important to emphasise the impact that injuries have had on his progress; from serious knee ligament damage to niggling calf problems, Carroll has been unable to string together enough games to pick up any sort of momentum.
As he nears 30, this is arguably the last chance that West Ham have to recoup any money for his services and few could blame the Londoners for cashing in.
When he eventually hangs up his boots, Carroll will go down as yet another one of England’s wasted talents and opinion will doubtless be split as to whether bad luck or bad choices had a greater effect on his decline.