West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes England international Andy Carroll will not be fit for the start of the new Premier League season.
The 24-year-old Carroll completed a permanent move to the Hammers last month after spending a season on loan with the club from Liverpool.
However, the forward has since been missing from the squad with a heel injury preventing him from partaking in any of the club’s pre-season campaign, which continued with a 2-1 win over Colchester on Tuesday.
And despite earlier reports suggesting Carroll could be fit for the season opener against Cardiff, Allardyce has moved to quash hopes the former Newcastle striker would be leading the line.
"Andy is still recovering. He has got four weeks or more to go before he starts full training.
"His rehab is going pretty well at the moment and he will be joining us in Germany, and hopefully he will be available, as will George McCarthy, as quickly as possible.
"I hope it will be before (September) for both of them, but being fit and being ready to play are two different things - they may be fit from the injury, but they are unlikely to be capable of playing straight away.
"If we are going to put our lads through six weeks of preparation and then Andy gets fit with two days to go, you would not expect us to play him, would you?"
On the 2-1 victory against Colchester, Allardyce added: "It was a good workout for us, because Colchester are a couple of weeks ahead of where we are with their season starting earlier, so you would expect we would get a physical game.
"Our only disappointment was conceding a goal in the last minute.
"We are looking very good, even at this early stage, so I just hope we can keep it up in Germany."