Amid their injury woes, West Ham are clinging to the slim chance that Andy Carroll will return to the field before the end of the season.
The 29-year-old was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign after suffering a hairline ankle fracture last month; but according to the Mirror, the England international may return earlier than expected.
The setback for Carroll reportedly scuppered a potential move to Chelsea, with the Blues switching their attentions to Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud.
Carroll hasn’t played since the Premier League draw with Spurs early in January, but there is a belief that the lofty frontman, who has now had an operation on his ankle, could return for the final pair of games this season.
Given the intensity of the relegation battle that has unfolded this season, the final two games of the campaign could prove to be make-or-break for the Hammers.
The two games in question see West Ham United travel up to Leicester City, before hosting Everton on matchday 38 for the final game of the season.
While Carroll has sat on the sidelines, West Ham’s record signing Marko Arnautovic has finally started proving his worth after a poor first four months at the club.
After failing to score for the Hammers until December, the £25m man has now scored seven times after an extraordinary winter period.
Should Carroll return for those final two games, he could give West Ham the edge they need up front to secure Premier League survival.