Smith takeaways: City chief on Sara start, Dimi blow, Hayden update
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Dean Smith had his say on some of the key issues around Norwich City's League Cup first round home tie against Birmingham City.
The Canaries boss held his pre-match press call on Monday morning at Colney.
This was what Smith had to say on the following...
The implications for Dimi Giannoulis' lay-off
I think it's a ligament injury. He's going to see a specialist and we'll know more from there. A minimum eight weeks he is going to be out. It is a blow because he started the season okay and was heading in the right direction. Disappointed for him and for ourselves. We wish him a speedy recovery.
(Could it be surgery?) Possibly but that will depend on what the specialist has to say. But it also gives an opportunity for other players like Sam McCallum though as well.
(Would you look at the market?) Possibly, but we've also had Lunghi (Jacob Sorensen) play there for 20 odd games during the promotion winning season. Lunghi has become accustomed to being a bit of a Polyfilla at times, hasn't he? He is a good enough player to go and do that.
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Gabriel Sara full debut
I'll be giving Gabby a first start as well to get him some minutes. it would have been a bit too early on Saturday. (Marcelino) Nunez has obviously been playing regular in the Chilean league, whereas Gabby had the injury and the operation on his ankle. He's not started a game for three months. Although he trained really well, for 10 days, I just felt it was too much of a risk.
It would have put an awful lot of expectation and pressure on him which he didn’t need at this stage.
Holding back Adam Idah
He had to have some fluid taken off his knee last week. So we'll see how he is this morning. If he's okay to train then he will be available but if there's still some swelling there then we will not risk it.
Adam wanted to be on the bench on Saturday and that's the outlook I had to take, that he some swelling there and the medical staff reported it to me. It was too much of a risk to put him in the squad on Saturday. You know when we've got such a long way to go this season.
Isaac Hayden on track
Isaac's moving along really well, actually. Absolutely no swelling on the knee and he is at the stage where he should be. We probably expect him back in the next three or four weeks. He's a really good character, good leader within the dressing room.
But we always expected him to probably miss the first six or seven games. He is still in amongst it, in amongst our meetings as well. He's happy to give his opinion as well, which is really good.
Other fitness headlines
Max Aarons got a gash on his shin. I had a go at him about subbing himself but he was in pain from the tackle. He’ll be fine. It is a superficial injury, a contact injury but it could have been much worse.
Sam (Byram's) had a bit of a setback. But he's back on the grass now. He's not joining in with us full training but he's certainly doing his rehab now with the medical staff and I expect him to probably be ready for the Millwall game.
(When is Jonny Rowe back?) I'm careful to put tight timelines on stress related injuries because we saw what happened with Andrew (Omobamidele) last season. I've had the exact same issue with Jack Grealish at Aston Villa as well. It is very difficult to predict. So we'll just have to wait and see how that pans out.