Injury boost for Zimbo but Tettey could need op

Christoph Zimmermann is making good progress after a knee operation during the close season Picture:

Christoph Zimmermann is making good progress after a knee operation during the close season Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Christoph Zimmermann is ahead of schedule after summer knee surgery as he bids to play a key role in Norwich City’s Premier League quest.

Zimmermann led the Canaries to the Championship title but underwent an operation earlier this month following a medial meniscus tear in his left knee.

Daniel Farke was planning for life without the powerhouse centre back until the first international break, but Zimmermann is poised to be in the mix sooner.

"I don't expect him to miss more than two or three games. I expect him to be back much earlier than the first international break," said Farke, speaking after Saturday's 5-1 friendly win against Luton Town. "We'll see how it develops. We still have to be careful in his rehab and scan the knee often to judge how the knee reacts but it looks good and he is not far away."

Zimmermann, along with Mario Vrancic and Alex Tettey, have sat out the entire pre-season friendly programme.

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City host Atalanta and Toulouse in the coming days and Vrancic is expected to feature, but Tettey has suffered a setback in his recovery from a calf problem.

"Mario is back in team training but, yes, Alex had a little setback in the past week. A small calf injury," said Farke. "We had just planned he would be out for seven to 10 days but there is still some blood in the calf.

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"We have to get that out and we either use some traditional methods or maybe a small surgery. That is a decision to make in the next day or two. It is very rare with this injury you have to do that. It is a shame for Alex. He was looking sharp and unbelievably fit at this level. Let's see how it develops."

Grant Hanley and Marco Stiepermann departed early at Kenilworth Road, but Farke sounded a positive note.

"Just a dead leg for Marco," he said. "He got a knock in the first half and it got more painful. Grant went to make a tackle and stretched his groin a little. The initial diagnosis was not too bad, but we got him off and now we see how he will react."

Teemu Pukki and Emi Buendia are poised to be back in the mix for the final two warm up outings.

"We didn't want to take any risks with Teemu's toe and get another hit. I am pretty sure he will be available for these last two tests," said Farke. "Emi has been out with a few little injuries and he needs some more game time but with no setbacks he will get that."

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