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Monday, 4 February, 2002, 14:03 GMT
Carrick's six-week absence
Michael Carrick and Joe Cole have an outside chance of making the England World Cup squad
Carrick (left) hopes to join Joe Cole at the World Cup
West Ham United hope England midfield man Michael Carrick will be back in six weeks after groin surgery.

Hammers doctor Ges Steinbergs said: "Michael has been struggling for some weeks with his lower abdomen and he has gone in for a hernia operation on both sides."

Carrick has been struggling with the injury and was forced off at half-time in the 2-0 defeat against Southampton at St Mary's.

Steinbergs added on West Ham's official website: "At Southampton it was just so painful he couldn't carry on; the decision was the right thing because although he has been battling on it sometimes it takes its toll on your performances.

"But he has come through very well and we are very confident the surgery will be okay. Now it will be a matter of five to six weeks before we are getting him playing again, provided there are no complications along the way.

Michael Carrick has won two full England caps
Carrick made his England debut against Mexico
"We are very happy with our surgeon, Steven Snookes, who provides our groin operations - and we have always been very successful with them.

"Certainly six weeks would be our target, though sometimes we have managed to get people back a week or so earlier.

"The important thing is it needs doing; we need as many players fit as possible to help our cause, but I don't think Michael could have struggled through."

Carrick, who made his England debut against Mexico last season, will be hoping his World Cup hopes will not be affected and he can return before the end of the season.

The club doctor added: "I hope, if it goes according to plan, he will have a couple of months to prove himself fit and put in some good performances.

"Perhaps, with his groin being back to normal, his performances may improve and he can get back into Sven-Goran Eriksson's England squad.

"I would hope he could make it on merit because he has had a good two seasons."

See also:

31 Jan 02 |  Man Utd
Man Utd pull plug on Di Canio
30 Jan 02 |  Eng Prem
Fernandes sinks Hammers
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