Injured Norwich City midfielder Alex Pritchard ruled out until Christmas

Alex Pritchard faces surgery on his ankle injury. Picture: Liam McAvoy/Focus Image

Alex Pritchard faces surgery on his ankle injury. Picture: Liam McAvoy/Focus Image - Credit: Liam McAvoy/Focus Images Limited

Daniel Farke confirmed influential playmaker Alex Pritchard is set to undergo ankle surgery that will keep him out for a minimum of three months.

The 24-year-old was carried off at Cambridge United in a pre-season friendly but following a fresh consultation with doctors earlier this week Farke delivered a gloomy bulletin on Friday afternoon ahead of Sunderland’s Championship visit.

“It is bad news. A minimum of 12 weeks,” said Farke, with the midfielder poised to have surgery early next week. “That is when everything works in a perfect way then perhaps the end of November. I guess. So, that means all in all we have to do without him for more than four months. Then when he returns he will need some time back in training. To be honest I don’t count on him until the beginning of the new year.

“He is a key player, an important player but sometimes in football there are injuries and sadly we had this game at Cambridge with Alex’s awful injury. We have to handle it, we will do. This ankle he had about two years ago an operation so we tried to do it in a conservative way to start. But after a latest check with doctors he confirmed it was necessary to operate on this ankle.”

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Timm Klose and Louis Thompson remain longer term absentees as well. Jamal Lewis and Harry Toffolo are also not in contention for the Black Cats’ weekend visit but Farke confirmed there was no fresh injuries from the midweek League Cup win over Swindon Town.

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“For sure we have to be a little bit careful with the load on Ivo Pinto and Wes Hoolahan but they are fine,” he said. “I think it was important to bring them on the pitch. With Russell Martin we wanted to give him a break and it worked but in the last 20 minutes I got the feeling we needed some more experience. I brought him and Alex Tettey on to calm it down but no so much load. From the Tuesday guys everything is fine. Jamal and Harry we will have to do without them.

“With Timm it looks good. He is back on the pitch and doing some running and light ball work. He is not training with the team but I hope he can return before the national break and then maybe have some minutes before the break. We just have to wait a little bit more for the next week.”

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Marco Stiepermann and Tom Trybull have yet to feature following their recent signings.

“Tom, I think needs the next week to train and then he will be there 100pc,” said Farke. “Marco is in a better physical condition and was in the squad for the cup game. With Steven Naismith back and Nelson (Oliveira) we have more options. Marco needs some time to get used to our ideas. He has had only three training sessions.”

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