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5 of the Premier League’s most injury-prone players

| 18.12.2015

West Ham’s once highly-promising season has turned sour with a host of injuries to their forwards, although the latest to receive a sick note shouldn’t be too surprising.

Andy Carroll is out of West Ham’s game with Swansea this weekend with a groin-injury, having only returned to first-team in action in September following a six-month lay-off.

After making 24 league appearances while on loan at Upton Park in the 2012-13 season, the 26-year-old hasn’t made more than 15 matches a season since making his deal permanent over the subsequent two years.

Carroll has made just 36 Premier League appearances since making the switch from Liverpool in 2013, and he’s just one of many to become synonymous with injuries.

Here’s a little look back at five other injury-plagued footballers…

Abou Diaby

Who else could we start with other than Abou Diaby?

The former Arsenal man actually made 29 appearances in 2009-10, but it all went downhill after that.

MONTPELLIER, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 18: Abou Diaby of Arsenal battles with Remy Cabella of Montpellier during the UEFA Champions League match between Montpellier Herault SC and Arsenal at Stade de la Mosson on September 18, 2012 in Montpellier, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Becoming the poster boy of injury-plagued footballers, the unfortunate Diaby made just 32 appearances in his final four seasons at the Emirates and just 16 in his last three.

He signed for Marseille this summer, but his debut has been delayed due to, yep, you guessed it – injury.

Jack Wilshere

This won’t be all about players who have been at Arsenal…

Jack Wilshere has only once played more than 25 league games in a season and that was five years ago. In fact his number of appearances in that 2010-2011 season make up almost a third of his career total.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Manager Arsene Wenger of Arsenal ackowledges Jack Wilshere of Arsenal as he comes off with an injury during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Repeated ankle injuries and hairline fractures are just some of the ailments associated with Wilshere, who hasn’t made an appearance for Arsenal yet this season.

The England international also missed the entire 2011-2012 campaign.

Darren Anderton

Staying in north London with Tottenham’s Darren Anderton.

After three injury-free seasons at White Hart Lane in the early 1990s, injuries robbed the midfielder of much of his best years.

7 Nov 2001: Darren Anderton stretches during today's England training session at the Carrington training ground in Carrington, Manchester. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Alex Livesey/ALLSPORT

In his final nine seasons with Spurs, only twice was Anderton able to feature more than 30 times and he missed out on both Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup due to injuries.

Owen Hargreaves

Sir Alex Ferguson thought he was on to a winner when he snapped up Owen Hargreaves from Bayern Munich in 2007.

And in his first season, the Canadian-born Englishman proved Fergie right, helping United to a league and European Cup double.

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 09: Owen Hargreaves of Manchester United battles with Mancini of AS Roma during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 2nd leg match between Manchester United and AS Roma at Old Trafford on April 9, 2008 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

But that was all. A recurring patella tendinitis issue, among others, limited Hargreaves to a meagre five more appearances in three more seasons at Old Trafford.

A move to Man City – after some inspiring YouTube videos – brought just four more games and the man who was England’s finest player at the 2006 World Cup saw his career cruelly curtailed.

Jonathan Woodgate

Middlesbrough’s Jonathan Woodgate has had a long career – 18 seasons in fact.

But in only three of those has the centre-half featured more than 30 times.

His early years at Leeds saw him often in the treatment room, and he to wait over a year for his Real Madrid debut after a plethora of injuries kept him out.

24 Oct 2000: Jonathan Woodgate of Leeds United comes away with the ball from Alfonso of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League match played at Elland Road, in Leeds, England. The match ended in a 1-1 draw. Mandatory Credit: Clive Mason /Allsport

Even when he returned to England he couldn’t escape from break downs, and he made just four appearances in his final two seasons at Spurs.

We could quite easily fill an injury-hit XI, but who make the team? Let us know in the comments below.

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.