Andy Carroll is working hard to be available for the start of West Ham United's Premier League campaign against Cardiff City.
Carroll suffered a heel injury at the end of last season and manager Sam Allardyce has previously admitted he is unlikely to be fit for the clash with Cardiff on 17 August.
However, Carroll is doing everything he can to return ahead of schedule and is desperate to take his place in the squad at the earliest possible opportunity.
"I've been working hard," he said in the Daily Star. "I've been away to Germany with the lads and keeping myself as fit as I can with the work I can still do with my heel still being sore.
"It's been tough but I've been working hard to be back for the start of the season."
Carroll made his move to Upton Park permanent this summer after spending last season on loan at the club from Liverpool, and he is itching to get back in action.
He said: "I'm dying to get back kicking a ball again. I can't wait because the last time I kicked a ball was in the final game of last season.
"Everyone is buzzing about and have come back in great form and great spirits, looking forward to the start of the season.
"They have been working hard over the summer and can't wait for the beginning.
"It is always important to get a win in the first game of the season.
"Cardiff have just come up so will want to show what they are all about. We need to understand that and get a win under our belts."