Norwich City boss Chris Hughton urges caution over Leroy Fer hamstring injury blow
15:05 28 February 2014
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Norwich City boss Chris Hughton insists reports Leroy Fer’s hamstring injury will keep him out for the rest of the Premier League season are ‘wide of the mark’.
Hughton confirmed at Colney on Friday the Dutch international will miss Sunday’s televised trip to Aston Villa after damaging his hamstring in training on Thursday. Fer will be assessed fully by City’s medical staff over the next 48 hours before Hughton is prepared to offer a firm timeline on how long the powerful midfielder will be absent.
Hughton was prepared to dismiss one report Fer is set to miss the next ‘six to 10 weeks’, which would effectively cut short a debut season where he had been an influential figure at Carrow Road.
“No that is wild speculation. That is wide of the mark,” he said. “The injury only happened yesterday so we are using today and tomorrow to assess it. We’ll certainly be able to give a clearer picture in the next few days but anybody coming up with periods of time has to be unfounded because at this particular moment we don’t know ourselves. It is a big blow because of the timing going into these last 11 games or so of the season, but we are not going to rush and try to assess it today in terms of how long he can be out.
“You can take an initial diagnosis and then when it settles down it is better news. When we know for definite and we have that knowledge ourselves we will share it.”
Jonny Howson comes back into contention after his 60 minute midweek development outing following a two-month lay-off with a back complaint. Central defender Ryan Bennett has also been passed fit for Villa Park following a thigh injury, but Michael Turner (hamstring), Jonas Gutierrez (calf) and Elliott Bennett (knee) remain sidelined.
“As much as it is a disappointment for Leroy it is an opportunity for someone else,” said Hughton. “We have a competitive squad at the moment. Not just with Jonny coming back, but Alex (Tettey) and Wes (Hoolahan) is another option. We have players coming back to fitness and that is why you want that. Michael Turner, Elliott Bennett and Jonas Gutierrez are still out but Ryan Bennett is back now fit and that is a real plus for us.”