TEAM NEWS: Major double injury boost for Canaries
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Central defensive duo Christoph Zimmermann and Grant Hanley are on track to return well ahead of Norwich City’s festive Premier League push.
Daniel Farke revealed on Thursday, ahead of Watford's pending visit to Carrow Road, he expects Hanley to be in the mix the other side of the international break following his groin surgery.
But there was an unexpected bonus with fellow centre back Zimmermann also taking part in some of the training sessions this past week as he looks to overcome a foot ligament injury.
With Mario Vrancic added to the squad for the Hornets' Friday night clash and Ibrahim Amadou and Todd Cantwell firmly in contention after injury concerns in the build up to Brighton, things are finally looking up for the City chief.
"Well in general a much better situation in comparison to what we had to face a few weeks ago," he said. "Ralf Fahrmann is back with us for the past week, Tom (Trybull) and Onel (Hernandez) have now had a few appearances and Mario has been on the training pitch now for the past two and a half weeks.
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"He is not a topic for 90 minutes this weekend but at least a topic for the squad. His last game in the starting line up was May.
"We are still struggling a bit in the centre back positions but also some good signs, because Grant Hanley is likely to be back pretty soon after the international break and also Christoph Zimmermann looks quite well. He was involved in some parts of team training this week and looks like he can push on and be back pretty soon after the international break. It doesn't help us for Watford but certainly does in the bigger picture.
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"We can now play this game in a good mood. So apart from the centre back positions we have a lot more competition.
"Ibrahim was completely fine this past week and so was Todd Cantwell. They are both back in the mix and we are back to proper competition on the training pitch, and that was the first week in several months.
"I was pleased with Alex Tettey at Brighton. Of course he is not a natural centre back and I don't expect him to be in this position for all the next games but he was organising well and he showed leadership. But there were one or two scenes when you could feel he is not 100pc comfortable in that situation."