Andy Carroll comeback update: Full details of Steve Bruce's plan for the Newcastle United striker
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Carroll, re-signed as a free agent in the summer transfer window, is closing in on a competitive return from ankle surgery. So when will Carroll be back in a black and white shirt?
Where is Carroll in his rehabilitation?
The 30-year-old took trained with his new team-mates for the first time this week. However he was only involved in the non-contact part of the session.
Head coach Steve Bruce said: “He joined in and joined in the warm-up and the boxes, and then there was a passing drill he came into and he was a floater in the possession. He took part in half the session. Now, we've got to progress that and see where he is.”
What is Carroll’s mindset?
Carroll hasn’t kicked a ball in anger since February, when he played for West Ham United, so what is his frame of mind?
Bruce said: “Thankfully, he’s a strong-minded individual, and determined, but no matter how determined you are or what you are, it's always difficult when you're carrying around an injury. It (the ankle problem) has now plagued him, unfortunately, for the best part of two-and-a-half years.
“For me, it's the most difficult thing to cope with. When you're not involved, all you seem to be doing is spending long, long, horrible hours in the gym, and it becomes a mental thing as much as a physical thing, so thankfully he is strong enough to hopefully see it through.”
When will Carroll be available?
This Saturday’s game against Liverpool, Carroll’s former club, had been mooted as a possible comeback fixture for the England international. Instead, the October 19 game away to Chelsea is a possibility.
“I never really had a target,” said Bruce. “We hope he can take part. He is doing everything he can to get on the pitch – that's what he wants – so let's hope he has a bit of luck in that respect.
“He can't be miles off, because he wouldn't be able to do what he did. He's still got a bit to get over before he comes into contact.”