Bertrand suffers ankle ligament damage
David Cuffley Defender Ryan Bertrand has been ruled out of Norwich City's Championship trip to Preston North End tomorrow. The 19-year-old full-back missed last week's 2-1 home defeat by Bristol City because of an ankle injury and is a definite non-starter at Deepdale (3pm).
Defender Ryan Bertrand has been ruled out of Norwich City's Championship trip to Preston North End tomorrow.
The 19-year-old full-back missed last week's 2-1 home defeat by Bristol City because of an ankle injury and is a definite non-starter at Deepdale (3pm).
Bertrand, on loan from Chelsea, had to withdraw from England Under-21 duty in midweek and may also face a battle to be fit for the Canaries' home game against Burnley a week tomorrow.
Manager Bryan Gunn said: “Ryan is going to be out for probably another week with a medial ankle ligament injury. He's certainly missing this game, he might have a chance for Burnley, but certainly tomorrow has come too quick.
“He went back to visit the physio department at Chelsea for a day, but he will be back with us doing rehab over the weekend then we'll gauge things before the following game.”
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Gunn will also be checking on the fitness of midfielder Sammy Clingan and on-loan winger David Carney, both back from international duty.
Clingan travelled with Northern Ireland for their World Cup qualifier against San Marino but was ruled out of the game by a thigh injury, while Carney was in Japan for Australia's qualifier in Yokohama but played just three minutes as a substitute.
“Sammy took a knock in the Wolves game and didn't really start feeling it again until last Friday,” said Gunn.
“We got him fit for Saturday and he's been having treatment ever since.
“With the rules and regulations, he still had to go to be assessed by Northern Ireland's medical staff.
“But the fact he didn't play gives Sammy a good chance to be fit for tomorrow's game. He will have had a week's rest on it since Saturday's match, which we hope will see him through.
“The only thing David will have is possibly jet lag. Ian Crook had some problems with it when he flew back, but we just have to assess him in training today.”
Adam Drury, recalled at left-back for the last two matches, missed training earlier in the week but is in the travelling party.
“Adam had a bit of a rest but he'll be fine,” said Gunn. “He played two games in a short space of time for him, Tuesday and Saturday, which he's not done much over the last 18 months. He'll be in the squad.”
Gunn, meanwhile, said he would have no worries about including loan signing Jason Shackell, back with the Canaries until the end of the season, in his starting line-up at Preston if needed.
“Jason is a very fit lad. I know that from his time here before,” he said. “He trains well, he's not missed any training at Wolves and he played in the FA Cup game against Middlesbrough a couple of weeks ago, so he has had games in the middle of January. I'm more than happy that, if selected, Jason's fitness levels would be good enough.”
With Shackell back and Gary Doherty's red card against Bristol City overturned on appeal, Gunn has plenty of options in defence. Adrian Leijer, on loan from Fulham, can play at centre-back or right-back, while Jonathan Grounds' preferred position is left-back if he needs cover for Bertrand and Drury.
City's hopes of giving their new signings some match practice were dashed by the postponement of Tuesday's reserve team friendly at Birmingham.
“It was a blow because we would have seen some of the loan lads that have come in who needed 60, 75 minutes under their belt,” said Gunn.
“Birmingham were desperate to get the game on but I think the thaw, as opposed to the snow, put paid to it. The pitch ended up being waterlogged. But we had a practice match here and put the same team out that was going to play against Birmingham against the rest of our lads. We let them play for an hour without any stoppages.”
While the 20th-placed Canaries desperately need points to drag themselves away from the danger zone, Preston are currently sixth in the Championship table. They have not won for four matches, but had a run of eight wins in nine league games at Deepdale prior to home draws against Sheffield United and Plymouth.
Said Gunn: “They've had a brilliant season. Alan Irvine is a guy I know very well in football. He's a gentleman. I spoke to him a few times last season, discussing players.
“He's come down from the Premier League, where he was assistant to David Moyes, and wanted to have an opportunity to manage on his own and he's doing a great job.
“Preston have got great facilities at Deepdale and he's got the backing of a good chairman and he's turned Preston into a difficult team to beat, as we saw at Reading with a 0-0 draw.
“By all accounts, they were under the cosh for most of the game but at the same time it's a fantastic result and they've been winning a lot of their home games.
“So it's going to be a real test for us and we'll really need to be at the top of our game if we're going to take anything from the game at all.”