Hughes set for shock return

PUBLISHED: 11:02 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:32 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

Midfielder Stephen Hughes could make a surprise return to action when Norwich City visit Gillingham in League One tomorrow. The 26-year-old Scot was stretchered off in the first half of the Canaries' 2-1 defeat at Milton Keynes Dons 11 days ago and missed Saturday's 2-2 draw with Charlton because of a foot injury.

Midfielder Stephen Hughes could make a surprise return to action when Norwich City visit Gillingham in League One tomorrow.

The 26-year-old Scot was stretchered off in the first half of the Canaries' 2-1 defeat at Milton Keynes Dons 11 days ago and missed Saturday's 2-2 draw with Charlton because of a foot injury.

But Hughes trained yesterday and is likely to be included in the squad for the trip to Priestfield Stadium (3pm).

Said manager Paul Lambert: "Stephen is back in light training. He had a problem with a nerve in his foot. I know how damaging that can be but he trained yesterday and he did OK.

"He will be in the squad if everything goes OK today."

With centre-half Michael Nelson out for up to five weeks with ankle ligament damage, Lambert has little room for changes at the back, while midfield pair Matthew Gill and Owain Tudur Jones are "progressing" but not fast enough to be considered for a first team recall.

For Gillingham, manager Mark Stimson is expected to rely on an unchanged side despite last week's 4-1 defeat at Leeds.

Defender Garry Richards limped out of the reserves' midweek defeat at Queens Park Rangers with a suspected broken toe, but the injury is not as severe as at first feared and he could still feature tomorrow.

Striker Mark McCammon (hamstring) and Midfielder Stuart Lewis (ankle) are still three weeks away from a return to action, while centre-half Simon King (ankle ligaments) is not likely to return before the New Year.

Before the trip to Leeds, Gillingham had enjoyed back-to-back home wins, and they sit ninth in the table, five places and one point ahead of the Canaries.

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