Jamal Lewis remains an injury doubt despite being named in Northern Ireland squad

PUBLISHED: 14:00 03 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:37 03 October 2019

Jamal Lewis has been named in the Northern Ireland squad despite concerns over an elbow injury. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Jamal Lewis has been named in the Northern Ireland squad despite concerns over an elbow injury. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City face a waiting game over Jamal Lewis ahead of this weekend's clash against Aston Villa.

The left-back was named in the Northern Ireland squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifying matches, despite fears over an elbow injury suffered in Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.

"My understanding is that the X-ray and the scan didn't show any fracture," said Lewis's international boss Michael O'Neill.

"There is ligament damage there and I think it just a case of how you can protect the elbow and manage to play and we will see how things develop for him this week and at Norwich as well.

"We have until next Thursday so there is obviously a little bit longer of a healing process so having spoken to him during the week he is optimistic as obviously we have to be as well because he has been such a significant player for us and a very difficult player for us to replace if he wasn't available.

Norwich City goalkeeper Michael McGovern has also made Michael O'Neill's squad ahead of games against the Netherlands and Czech Republic. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesNorwich City goalkeeper Michael McGovern has also made Michael O'Neill's squad ahead of games against the Netherlands and Czech Republic. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Lewis sustained the injury after falling awkwardly during the second half at Selhurst Park, but did manage to finish the rest of the fixture.

Farke is expected to provide an update at today's pre-match press conference, and City fans will be praying for positive news after a plethora of injuries has dampened spirits in Norfolk.

Goalkeeper Michael McGovern has also been included in O'Neill's squad as they seek to build on an impressive qualifying campaign that leaves them second in a group that contains former world champions Germany.

McGovern made his Premier League debut in that defeat at Selhurst Park and looks set to be handed his first City start since April 2017 when Aston Villa visit Carrow Road on Saturday.

The 35-year-old has fallen down the pecking order of O'Neill's squad of late, with Burnley goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell being his preferred choice between the sticks. Given his lack of opportunities in the last two seasons, this serves as an extra dose of motivation for McGovern if he can impress on Saturday.

McGovern has made 30 appearances for his country, keeping 16 clean sheets. Lewis will be hoping injury doesn't prevent him from gaining his 12th international cap.

Northern Ireland travel to Rotterdam on Thursday, October 10 (7.45pm) for their Euro 2020 qualifier, before travelling to Prague the following Monday (6pm) for a friendly.

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