Cole put on special training regime at West Ham to avoid yet more injury woe
13:42 GMT, 10 January 2013
13:46 GMT, 10 January 2013
Joe Cole will be put on a bespoke training regime to ensure the injuries which have cost him in the past will not hamper his return to West Ham.
The 31-year-old last week had a memorable second debut for the club he first joined as an academy player, but manager Sam Allardyce knows he must be fully fit to perform at his best consistently.
That could mean Cole not joining up with the squad until Thursday or Friday training sessions before a Saturday match, using the earlier part of the week to focus on injury prevention.
Injury-prone: Cole's time at Chelsea was blighted by injury
The England international recovered from a hamstring injury picked up at Liverpool in October and his time at Chelsea was punctuated by problems, including an eight-month period out through knee ligament damage.
Allardyce said: ‘We’ll take that game by game. A part of everybody’s management is about managing your players for their sake.
‘It’s not always about joining in training every day of every week for me and it hasn’t been for many years now. We’ll do what’s needed with Joe, as we do with many players.
‘Lots of players don’t come together in our squad till Thursday or Friday then play on the Saturday because they need to do other things in the week to make sure they maintain their level of fitness.
‘We try to have a prevention policy rather than a cure policy. That’s been tested to the hilt recently with the amount of injuries we’ve had.’
Returning: Allardyce thinks it should be no longer than two weeks until Andy Carroll is back in action after his knee injury
Cole said after signing that fitness would be key.
‘The more games you play you get to a certain level and you need games to get that strength,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Allardyce believes Andy Carroll is no more than two weeks away from playing. The England striker is out with a knee injury but has started running.
‘It’s a bit difficult to put an actual time on it but I would expect it will be no longer than a couple of weeks now,’ the West Ham boss said. ‘He’s doing some straight line running and if he doesn’t feel anything then we’ll progress onto interval running and change of direction, then introduce the ball.
‘Hopefully he will come back with the players as soon as possible. It could be a few days. It could be a bit longer than that just depending on his progression day by day now.’