Manuel Pellegrini hopes Andy Carroll can put his injury problems behind him, even if the striker comes back to haunt West Ham.
Carroll rejoined hometown club Newcastle over the summer after seven injury-plagued seasons with the Hammers.
The former England international scored 34 goals in 142 appearances after joining for £15million from Liverpool in 2013 following a season on loan.
Carroll’s return to the London Stadium this weekend is in doubt due to a groin problem but Pellegrini, who allowed the 30-year-old to leave on a free transfer, wants his former player to get back to fitness.
“I hope he will be fit as he, like Winston Reid, is a player who has had many injuries, long injuries and they deserve to have a normal career,” said the Hammers boss.
“If he is on the bench, it will be one more difficult player that Newcastle will have. If not, they will have another one.
“I think the fans will give him a good welcome. For different reasons, Andy couldn’t stay here. When you defend the shirt the fans applaud you so often, he will deserve the same respect.”
Recurring injuries are still a theme at West Ham. Defender Reid has been out for 19 months after a serious knee injury, although he did manage just over an hour for the Hammers’ under-23s side in midweek.
“Winston played for 65 minutes without any problems,” added Pellegrini.
“He has a special way to return, the doctors and him have experience of that. In the last month he has been doing what the doctors want him to.
“We will see how he reacts. Now he needs to play a complete game and as soon as he can, he can start working with the first-team squad.
Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere has suffered another injury setback and will miss out against the Magpies on Saturday.
The 27-year-old midfielder has a groin issue, although Pellegrini insists it is not serious.
“Jack has a small problem, he is not 100 per cent fit,” said Pellegrini. “For him it is a risk to come back before he has completely recovered.”
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