Andy Carroll has been ‘dealt a cruel hand’, says Newcastle’s manager, Steve Bruce. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA
Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll's Newcastle future in doubt after volley brings injury setback


Andy Carroll’s future at Newcastle United has been thrown into doubt after the striker suffered yet another setback in his quest to regain full fitness while attempting to volley a ball in training.

The 31-year-old former Liverpool, West Ham and England striker has made 14 appearances for Steve Bruce’s side this season, starting only four games, and has been sidelined since mid-January with a hip flexor injury.

“It’s a big frustration,” said Bruce. “There was a time just before Christmas when Andy had made a few assists and started a few games but unfortunately he volleyed a ball and hasn’t been the same since.”

Newcastle’s manager had hoped to have Carroll back in his side for Sunday’s trip to Arsenal but must now cope without him. “The big problem we’ve got still is Andy’s not right, so that’s a concern going forward,” said Bruce, who brought Carroll back to St James’ Park on a free transfer last August. “We’re not putting a timescale on Andy’s return – it’s just the way it is. When he gets to certain level in his rehabilitation he’s still not quite right so we’ll just have to keep monitoring it.”

Carroll was released by West Ham last summer after complex ankle surgery which he has fully recovered from. He is on a heavily incentivised contract in which his basic wage – understood to be around £20,000 a week – is inflated by appearance fees believed to be in the region of £75,000 for a start and £35,000 for a substitute’s role.

“Andy’s been dealt a cruel hand, but certain players go through their careers like that,” said Bruce. “Andy’s certainly unfortunate to have been one of them.
“He’s strong-minded and tough mentally, and I suppose he’s had to be. However tough you are mentally though, it affects you if you can’t play. It becomes frustrating and disappointing for everybody, and, for Andy, it’s the worst scenario.”

With Carroll’s contract ending in June, the future seems opaque. “The big thing is to get him fit and then see,” said Bruce when asked about the possibility of the striker being offered a new deal. “Let’s hope we can get him right.”