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By ESPN Staff

Carroll injury raises concerns

Andy Carroll could be a doubt for the start of the season.

Andy Carroll's injury woes continue as the striker is set to miss both matches of West Ham's preseason tour of New Zealand after picking up an ankle problem in training.

A heel problem ruled the 25-year-old out of the first half of last season although it is understood to be precautionary to ensure he is fit for the new campaign.

"After assessment by the club's medical experts, it was decided to let the England international rest for both remaining games and receive intensive treatment to ensure he is fit for the start of the season," the club said in a statement. "It should be clear that the affected area is not in any way associated with the previous injury he successfully overcame towards the end of last season."

Carroll, who netted just twice in 15 league appearances last season, has been linked with a sensational return to Newcastle in the build up to the new season.

West Ham face Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC as they prepare for their opening Premier League fixture at home to Tottenham on August 16.

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