Allardyce halts contact training at West Ham as injury crisis continues

With the likes of Andy Carroll, Mohamed Diame and Ricardo Vaz Te on the treatment table, the Hammers are struggling to keep enough players fit for a matchday squad
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has refused to risk his players taking part in full-contact training sessions as he struggles to muster a full matchday squad.

Injuries to several key players, including the likes of Andy Carroll and Mohamed Diame, are exacerbated by suspensions, with Carlton Cole picking up a three-match ban for his red card against Everton on Saturday.

With his side's Boxing Day match against Arsenal postponed, Allardyce is now aiming to keep his squad as intact as possible for the trip to Reading on December 29.

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"We had 10 players who were fit and one was about 80 per cent fit and that was all we had," the Hammers boss told reporters.

"We had Jack Collison, who hasn't kicked a ball since the play-off final, and Alou Diarra, who hasn't kicked a ball in three months, that is how bare-bones we are at the moment.

"Medical staff are busier than us as coaches at the moment. We can't afford any more contact or any more injuries, so we can't even do any training.

"If we try to do any training and try to do any shape or build-up for Reading, we will get contact between players and, if you get contact between players, you risk injury and we can't do that.

"We can't even get out on the field and do a bit of coaching at the moment."