West Ham United striker Andy Carroll suffered a fresh foot injury on his return to training on Monday and the club has confirmed the signing of former Fulham forward Mladen Petric as an immediate replacement.
Carroll, who completed a £15m permanent switch to Upton Park from Liverpool in the summer of 2013, has not played since picking up a heel injury in the Hammers’ finals game of last season.
The “new injury” which the club said “is in the same part of his foot as his previous injury” means manager Sam Allardyce is now left with Modibo Maiga and Ricardo Vaz Te as the remaining experienced strikers in the fold.
Petric, 32-year-old Croatia international was released by the Cottagers at the end of the 2012/13 season, joins the Hammers outside the transfer window as he is a free agent.
The former Borussia Dortmund and Hamburg forward has agreed a deal with the club until the end of the current campaign.
“I know the Premier League and I’m happy to be back, because it’s a fantastic league,” the 32-year-old said.
“I didn’t speak to Sam Allardyce until today but I’ve heard a lot about him and I spoke to guy Demel, who I know from my time at Hamburg. I’m sure I’ll have a good time here.”
West Ham made a similar move for Carlton Cole, who they released during the summer, but that deal is thought to have fallen through.
Petric has earned 45 caps for Croatia and scored 13 goals.