Hammers manager Sam Allardyce does not expect the 24-year-old England centre-forward to make a playing return before January, saying that the club must heed medical advice and be cautious as the player continues his recovery from a long-term foot problem.
The West Ham boss said the club must resist the temptation to rush the former Newcastle and Liverpool striker back into action, in a bid to solve their goals shortage.
Allardyce said: "Andy hopefully will be back with us next week to start some training.
"We expected him to be back two or three games into the season, and that hasn't happened.
"We have to be tentative in our approach to it.
"When Andy's fit we've got to get him fit to stay fit.
"When he will return, I think that depends on our assessment when he does eventually come back with us.
"On a day-to-day basis he can then start to push forward.
"Having not played a game since last May, it will take some time to get him into a match-fitness situation.
"He's done an awful lot of work, but that doesn't include match fitness, so it will take a while for him to get back up to speed."
Allardyce confirmed West Ham have no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday's vital Barclays Premier League home clash with Fulham.
He admitted his side's shortage of goals has seriously hindered their start to the season and insisted they must start to convert their chances if they are to climb the table.
West Ham clash with Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, with Allardyce targeting two quickfire derby victories to ease the pressure around Upton Park.
He said: "We're ready for two big games, especially this first one against Fulham.
"None of us expected to be where we are at this stage of the season, but the league table tells the story.
"Performances are okay for a while, but it's all about results.
"In general our performances have been great, but we're not capitalising on our good play and scoring the goals we've needed.
"It's the precious three points you're searching for, that's what makes the difference.
"You can run with a certain amount of draws but eventually you have to start winning."
West Ham and Fulham are locked on 10 points apiece, with Allardyce's side sat just above the Craven Cottage men and one place outside the relegation zone.
Allardyce said he still hopes one big victory can transform West Ham's season.
He said: "My surprise is that I thought our win against Tottenham would kick us on to a good run of wins. It hasn't happened but we've got to believe we'll start putting away our chances.
"We've got to start converting our opportunities.
"Against Fulham, both teams are having a struggle at the minute.
"We hope we can regain our defensive solidity and maybe exploit a defensive weakness in them, after they have leaked 12 goals in their last four games."