Andy Carroll is hoping to get the all-clear to begin a rehabilitation programme - and avoid surgery on his heel injury.
West Ham striker Carroll has seen several specialists and is hoping to get the green light from a Belgian expert to begin the long road back.
Boss Sam Allardyce has described it as an “unusual injury” but is hoping the Hammers can manage the problem rather than having to put the England target-man under the knife which could wreck his season.
Carroll clearly believes he can get back onto the pitch with specialist help and is putting his faith in a trip to Belgium at the end of last week to speed up his return.
Meanwhile Kevin Nolan has admitted West Ham are missing his crocked pal Carroll.
Allardyce’s side has now gone three Premier League games without a goal following the stalemate at Southampton.
Irons captain Nolan said: “Of course you’re going to miss him no matter what even if you’re putting another international player in there which Maiga Modibo is.