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West Ham striker Andy Carroll plays for an hour against Southend

Carroll
Carroll hasn't featured for the first team since May 2014. Credit: PA

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 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.

Sakho set for Hammers return

Diafra Sakho
Diafra Sakho is ready to return. Credit: PA

West Ham striker Diafra Sakho has recovered from a shoulder injury and is in line to make a welcome return to the squad for Saturday's Barclays Premier League match against Aston Villa.

The summer arrival from Metz was forced to sit out the 2-2 draw at Stoke over the weekend after suffering the knock in the recent victory over reigning champions Manchester City.

Sakho scored the crucial second goal as the Irons won 2-1 at home to City on October 25 as the 24-year-old made it six goals in his first six Premier League starts - and seven in seven in all competitions.

A collision with City goalkeeper Joe Hart led to Sakho being substituted and he was not risked at the Britannia Stadium as Sam Allardyce's side came from two goals down to take a point.

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West Ham v Man City starting line-ups

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TEAMS: #WHUFC starting XI: Adrian, Jenkinson, Collins, Reid, Cresswell, Noble (c), Song, Amalfitano, Downing, Valencia, Sakho #WHUMCI

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CITY XI: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (C), Mangala, Clichy, Toure, Fernando, Navas, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko #westhamvcity http://t.co/hQgZBj3Fb7

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