Andy Carroll
Carroll has returned to training ahead of a belated return from ankle surgery.Getty Images/Simon Watts

West Ham United striker Andy Carroll is still "two to three weeks" away from returning from ankle surgery despite resuming training this week.

The 25 year old has not played this season due to an ankle problem, which saw him go under the knife in July but has taken a significant step in his rehabilitation.

But despite being pictured back in training West Ham manager Sam Allardyce says the club's record signing is unlikely to return to action before the international break but could play in the trip to Everton on 22 November.

"It'll be another two to three weeks, if he has no niggles or problems, before we talk about playing him in the team at any level," said Allardyce.

"We'll try to get him through three or four behind-closed-doors games and if that goes all right then we would hope to have him back.

"It's been a long, hard road again for Andy and one he's been too familiar with recently, sadly. Hopefully he'll have a major impact when he comes back again."

Carroll suffered a delayed start to last season with a heel problem but returned in time to haul West Ham out of the relegation zone; however his return next month will come amid altogether different circumstances.

Four wins in the club's first eight games in the Premier League, a run which has included victory over Carroll's former club Liverpool, coupled with Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia's impressive start to life in English football has contributed to a fine start to the campaign.

Therefore, Allardyce is under no pressure to rush Carroll back from injury and will wait until the England international is fully fit before calling on his services.

"Last time we got him back and he did his ankle but carried on playing so this time round we don't want to (rush) him," Allardyce added.

"We're hopefully going to get him back as quick as we can but we're not going to rush him back because, touch wood, there's no desperate need at the moment."