It's a girl! Baby joy for Onel and City fans
PUBLISHED: 22:34 01 November 2019 | UPDATED: 23:09 01 November 2019
Norwich City's Premier League test at Brighton is child's play for Daniel Farke - after Onel Hernandez confirmed the birth of his baby girl on Friday night.
The City head coach has routinely waded through gloomy injury bulletins during a testing start to the top-flight season but Farke's final team selection hinged on the birth of the wide player's daughter.
Hernandez will now link up with the rest of the squad on the south-coast after attending the birth of his child in London, just a day or two after fellow City midfielder Kenny McLean also became a father.
"Hopefully we can end the week with more points than babies," joked Farke, speaking before Hernandez revealed the news on his official instagram account. "Of course I would allow him to be there with his partner in the hospital for his first child.
"I was not going to call the police to bring him to the training pitch and tell him to leave his partner in hospital.
"We are all professional and we have a job to do but it is quite normal he stays at the hospital.
"It's not like he then needs to get on a bike and pedal to Brighton. We'll make sure he has a relaxed trip where he can sleep a bit. I think it was a long night on Thursday and if everything works out he will join us at Brighton.
"He is a first time father so I am quite glad he is in the hospital."
Hernandez's importance to the cause was underlined with an eye-catching cameo in the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United on his second outing since recovering from a freak knee injury.
"Onel is special for us and definitely a key player, in terms of his pace, his bravery and his ability to win duels to create something special in the offence," said Farke. "It was tough for us to play this season more or less without him. He was out for nearly three months and had surgery and we can tell from the data we get every day he is still not back on his top level, in terms of endurance and strength, and we still have to have to work on this topic.
"I would say it is after the international break before he is back to full fitness.
"He had 15 minutes in the first game and then 45 minutes. He is not ready to go for 90 minutes but I would say 60 minutes is definitely possible and of course, we have to realise it has been a tricky week.
"He didn't sleep that much (on Thursday) and probably he is also pretty excited. Even if he's a substitute then I can bring him in."