Carroll crocked in freak mishap

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West Ham goalkeeper Roy Carroll has been ruled out of Sunday's clash with Middlesbrough after suffering a freak training ground injury.

The shot-stopper, who moved to The Hammers from Manchester United in the summer, sustained a knee problem after catching his foot in a goal net during a practice session.

Carroll's injury has handed Shaka Hislop the chance to make his first Premiership appearance of the season after moving back to Upton Park in July.

Northern Ireland international Carroll had made a solid start to his career under Alan Pardew but, in his absence, the Hammers boss has opted to recall Stephen Bywater from a loan spell at Coventry.

As well as missing the visit of Boro on Sunday, Carroll is also expected to be ruled out for the Carling Cup trip to Bolton in midweek and next weekend's Premiership game against Liverpool at Anfield.

Pardew explained the unusual circumstances that led to Carroll's unavailability and insisted he had no qualms about giving Hislop his first league appearance in his second stint with the club.

"It was one of the more unusual injuries," Pardew told the club's official website.

"But it's one of those things and a bit typical of the run Roy has been having recently, what with his back and then the injury to his thumb.

"His foot got caught in the goal net and he tripped and just tweaked the knee. It's not too bad, but he's certainly likely to miss the next three games.

"It opens the door for Shaka though and I know he's really fired up about getting the chance to show what he can do.

"He's a Hammers legend and a very experienced goalkeeper, so I have no worries at all about putting Shaka in on Sunday.

"I'm sure he'll get a great reception from the crowd and with all his wealth of experience I have no doubt he'll do a good job."

Pardew also revealed that young duo Mark Noble and Jeremie Aliadiere should accompany Carroll back to fitness after their upcoming three games.

"Both Jeremie and Mark have been working hard with the physios, but won't be back in time for the Middlesbrough game," Pardew continued.

"They are likely to miss out next week at Bolton and Liverpool, but should return after that."