With Norwich City closing in on a spot in the Championship play-offs, questions have begun over whether players currently away on loan could feature in them for the Canaries, should they get there. 

Norwich have a whopping 17 players across their senior and under-21 side currently plying their trade elsewhere, from Adam Idah at Celtic to Abu Kamara at Portsmouth. 

Kamara secured promotion with Portsmouth on Tuesday and is being targeted for a first-team spot in City's squad next season. Likewise, Brad Hills at Accrington and Jonathan Tomkinson at Bradford are poised to be assessed in pre-season. 

Given the end of the campaign is coming into view for a majority of clubs, could these players return to Norwich and be involved in their possible play-off push? Especially given a host of injuries and squad thinness for David Wagner to contend with. 

The short answer is no. 

In years gone by, loans ended on specific dates, commonly the last day of the regular campaign. Then, the player's registration was transferred back to their parent club immediately, meaning the player could then feature in any games for the side they were returning to. 

A rule change in 2018 permitted players away from their parent club to immediately feature for them in any additional matches, such as games in the play-offs. 

Loans are now dated until the beginning of the next registration period, meaning those players away on loan, like Idah or Kamara or others, would not be eligible to feature for City should they qualify for the play-offs. 

The Pink Un: Norwich City have carried a lighter squad in recent weeks owing to injuries. Norwich City have carried a lighter squad in recent weeks owing to injuries. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Regulation 56.1.4 in the EFL Handbook reads: "A Player whose Standard Loan expires (or terminates) at the end of the Season of the Transferee Club but prior to the completion of the League Matches of his Transferor Club (where it is a Member Club) will not be eligible to play in any remaining League Matches for the Transferor Club in that Season;

"Examples where this may apply are (a) differential season ends for different divisions or (b) a player finishing a loan and his ‘parent club’ has qualified for the play-off competitions."

The players that Norwich have on loan, Sydney van Hooijdonk from Bologna and young midfielder Pedro Lima from Palmeiras, are eligible to feature. 

Norwich are six points clear of seventh-placed Hull, who have a game in hand with three matches left of the regular campaign. Opta has given them a 94.4pc chance of finishing in the play-offs.