Big injury blow for Canaries as Dowell has surgery on ankle injury
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City have suffered an early season injury blow, with summer signing Kieran Dowell facing three months out following ankle surgery.
The attacking midfielder was signed from Everton in July and had started all three of City’s matches so far this season, scoring a classy equaliser from the edge of the box during the 3-1 loss at Luton in the League Cup first round.
However, the 22-year-old stayed down hurt just six minutes into his Carrow Road debut on Saturday, after being tackled by Preston centre-back Ben Davies - who took the ball but landed on Dowell’s ankle.
He played on for almost 20 minutes before having coming off after treatment and was replaced by Polish winger Przemek Placheta, who would go on to score the late equaliser in the 2-2 draw with North End.
The England Under-21 international was able to walk off but finished the day on crutches and wearing a protective boot on his left ankle, with subsequent scans revealing the need for ligament surgery.
City expect to be without Dowell for in the region of 12 to 14 weeks and have confirmed the news ahead of this Sunday’s trip to Bournemouth.
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The disappointing news comes as a blow to head coach Daniel Farke and will put added precedence on the Canaries keeping hold of Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia ahead of the October 16 transfer deadline.
Dowell is primarily a central attacking midfielder but, like Cantwell and Buendia, Farke sees him as a wide option. Placheta, Onel Hernandez, Marco Stiepermann, Mario Vrancic, Lukas Rupp and youngster Josh Martin are all in that creative mix as well.
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So plenty of options remain available, although Buendia missed the Preston game after failing a late fitness test on a badly bruised shin and Stiepermann missed out with a back issue.
Young striker Adam Idah has also been used as a wide option in recent weeks, while Kenny McLean also has plenty of experience in more advanced roles.
Dowell, who was part of the England youth squad which won the Under-20 World Cup in 2017, signed a contract until 2023 and has previous Championship experience with Wigan, Sheffield United, Derby and Nottingham Forest.
He will now have to wait patiently for his chance on the sidelines though, in an echo of the misfortune which befell McLean in 2018 during his second Carrow Road appearance, injuring his ankle and missing three months - but returning to play a major role in Farke’s team winning the Championship title.
Dowell joins full-back Sam Byram in the treatment room, who is hoping to return in January from a second surgery on a complicated hamstring injury.
They are currently the only long-term absentees through, with captain Grant Hanley due to be back in full training this week after three months recovering from his own hamstring injury.
Farke is due to deliver his next injury bulletin on Friday lunchtime, ahead of the Championship game at Bournemouth.
- Take a look at the video above to see the tackle which caused Dowell’s injury