Nelson Oliveira fitness woes a major worry for Norwich City boss
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Nelson Oliveira has turned to a dentist in a bid to get fighting fit for Norwich City.
The Portuguese international striker has struggled with a groin problem that ruled him out of a start in Sunday’s East Anglian derby win at Ipswich.
Oliveira will be in the squad for Tuesday’s League Cup trip to Arsenal, but head coach Daniel Farke admits City’s medical staff is busy covering all bases to get him firing.
The 26-year-old has scored six goals in 10 appearances for club and country this season but his last City start came five weeks ago against Burton.
“The old problems with his groin are done. He still feels some pain, more like from his stomach and back and it goes into his groin and we can’t find the reason why,” said Farke.
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“He has also been seeing the dentist because he has some problems with his teeth. It’s pretty complicated but it could be that is where the solution lies. It might be something with his back, because when we scan the groin there is nothing to suggest a problem.
“Perhaps his body has to adapt to this situation. It’s not easy for him or the whole group, for me as a coach, and it kills him in the head a little bit because he knows he is in good shape. He always waits a little bit for this pain because he is wondering why he has these problems. It is really tricky. Hopefully it improves.”
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Oliveira’s fitness issues have placed a heavy burden on Cameron Jerome, who will feature again against the Gunners if his strike partner is unable to start.
“Cam has a superb attitude. He would play with one leg,” said Farke. “It means a lot of load for him. His working style is unbelievably good at the moment but at 31 it is not so easy to play two games in three days; particularly when he has played a high intensity derby.
“There are some other options, like a flexible number nine, but he is so important at set pieces, with his experience, holding the ball and winning headers.
“It will be late decision (on Nelson). He feels much better in the last day or so.
“He looked really sharp last week and I planned for him to be in the starting line up at Ipswich, but sometimes it develops day to day. We have to take short term decisions with him at the moment and let him train individually.”