Bitter blow as forward suffers serious knee injury ahead of Canaries return

PUBLISHED: 17:01 31 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:47 31 May 2018

Carlton Morris was hoping for a much happier ending, as the Norwich City striker turned out at Wembley for his loan club Shrewsbury Town in the League One play-off final against Rotherham United. Picture: PA

Carlton Morris was hoping for a much happier ending, as the Norwich City striker turned out at Wembley for his loan club Shrewsbury Town in the League One play-off final against Rotherham United. Picture: PA

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Carlton Morris’ Wembley disappointment has become a nightmare, as the Norwich City striker faces months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Norwich City striker Carlton Morris received plenty of plaudits for his season's work on loan at League One Shrewsbury Town. Picture: PANorwich City striker Carlton Morris received plenty of plaudits for his season's work on loan at League One Shrewsbury Town. Picture: PA

The 22-year-old damaged his anterior cruciate knee ligament (ACL) an hour into Sunday’s League One play-off final defeat to Rotherham, and will undergo surgery next month to repair the damage.

It means Morris faces a long road to recovery – just as he was starting to flourish as a possible senior striker option at Carrow Road.

Being without the 2013 FA Youth Cup winner for a prolonged period of time does City few favours too, given their public search for attacking reinforcements during the summer transfer window after a blunt 2017-18 campaign.

Morris hit double figures for goals in all competitions in a productive season-long loan alongside Canaries team-mate Ben Godfrey, and under the management of Paul Hurst – who was appointed Ipswich Town’s new manager within days of the Shrews’ play-off defeat.

MORE: Wembley extremes for Norwich City’s League One play-off connections

“Carlton has had a brilliant season on loan at Shrewsbury and this injury comes as a huge blow for him,” said City sporting director Stuart Webber.

“However he is a positive, driven young lad and I have no doubt that, together with the support of everyone at Norwich City, he will return to full fitness as soon as possible.”

Morris tried to play on twice before succumbing to injury on the Wembley turf – and speaking immediately after the game, Morris was already fearing the worst.

Norwich City youngsters Ben Godfrey and Carlton Morris (right) both earned a lot of favour from the Shrewsbury Town supporters and manager Paul Hurst last season.Norwich City youngsters Ben Godfrey and Carlton Morris (right) both earned a lot of favour from the Shrewsbury Town supporters and manager Paul Hurst last season.

“Hopefully my knee turns out to be not as serious as it’s potentially looking,” said Morris.

“I’m a different player now from when I went out on loan last summer – 100pc. I’ve had a lot of games this season, more than 50, and we’ve had some unbelievable experiences here – playing at West Ham away in the FA Cup, we’ve been to Wembley twice, the play-off semi-finals. There have been loads, so it’s been a really positive loan all in all.

“Obviously it didn’t quite come to the crescendo we were after, but that is football. It has been a good season and we’ll all take the positives from it.”

MORE: Neil Adams lifts the lid on Norwich City’s loan ambitions

Morris still has two years on his current City deal and was hoping to be one of several players returning to Colney for pre-season following positive experiences on loan.

The striker admitted he wished Wembley had provided a better finalé to a memorable campaign – prophetic words given Morris’ subsequent injury blow.

“I’m really disappointed because there are a lot of people I’d have liked to win that game for,” added Morris. “My family, the gaffer and staff who have been incredible with us loan boys – they’ve treated us like family, the town of Shrewsbury and all the supporters. My team-mates too because I’ve made some real good friendships and bonds over this season. So it does hurt.

“But you’ve got to use negatives. Sometimes they can be better than a positive, especially when you are young – because you can learn from it, use it to put things right, fuel you and motivate you in future.”

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