Byram hammer blow for City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Sam Byram is not expected to bolster Norwich City’s Championship promotion charge until 2021.
The versatile full back had a promising debut season curtailed by a hamstring injury that required surgery ruling him out of the Premier League run in.
Byram then suffered complications in his first course of rehab that required further surgery, and head coach Daniel Farke made it clear on Friday he will not be rushed back until he is ready.
“Sam Byram is a big miss for us,” he said. “Sam won’t be involved in 2020.
“We hope he is available in January. That is the plan. No setback to report but after the second surgery the whole rehab process had to start all over again. That means three and a half months. He will definitely need a couple of months to return to team training. January is more realistic.
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“Sam was important for us last season and it certainly didn’t help us when he was injured. After lockdown we were not that successful.
“We had three top class full backs with Max (Aarons) and Jamal (Lewis) as well but it was a lot to ask young players in our situation.”
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Lewis was sold to Newcastle earlier this month but Xavi Quintilla has arrived and Sam McCallum is also a back up option. The former Coventry City youngster has been the subject of persistent loan enquiries all summer from clubs keen to offer McCallum regular football, but City must now weigh up whether they have enough cover until the New Year.
Farke delivered a more upbeat fitness bulletin on club captain Grant Hanley, who could return to full team training next week after his own hamstring surgery.
“Grant Hanley has already been integrated into several parts of team training this week,” said Farke. “He looked quite sharp and if everything goes to plan he can fully re-join us maybe from Tuesday next week. Some encouraging signs.”
Marco Stiepermann is unavailable for Preston’s weekend visit with a back problem but Josh Martin returns to the fold after missing the opening weekend win at Huddersfield with a calf issue.