Blows for Hugill, McLean and Cantwell as injury crisis deepens for City ahead of trip to Stoke
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke had more bad injury news to deliver this lunchtime ahead of Norwich City’s game at Stoke on Tuesday evening, with a minimum of nine first-team players set to be missing for the Championship leaders.
With Sam Byram, Kieran Dowell and Onel Hernandez already out until January and both Bali Mumba and Adam Idah last week ruled out until February with knee injuries ahead of the 1-0 win at Middlesbrough, City are down to the bare bones.
Todd Cantwell and left-back Xavi Quintilla also missed that game with hip issues and will not travel to Stoke, as the Canaries look to extend a fine unbeaten run of eight games and three consecutive clean sheets.
“Many positive topics in the last days, our recent form, our unbeaten run, many wins, we are sitting top of the league – but the injury news is getting worse and worse, if I’m honest,” said head coach Farke with a sigh as he spoke to the media via a video conference.
“Todd Cantwell felt already something during training on Friday, we had to assess him, it was a little muscle strain in his hip flexor, he will be out for three weeks from last Friday, so will definitely miss the next games.
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“I can also confirm that Jordan Hugill has an interrupted ligament in his shoulder and two partially interrupted ligaments as well.
“We try to handle it in a conservative way but there is still perhaps a little question mark as to whether he neds the surgery. If he needs the surgery it will be a pretty long term injury.
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“We have lots of hope that we will be able to handle it in a conservative way but he will definitely be out for the next three weeks.
“Sadly I also have to confirm that Kenny McLean will also be out. We had to scan him this morning because he twisted his knee and he has meniscus tear.
“There are two options for him. We have to wait until the middle of the week for it to settled down and then he will see a specialist.
“Either we handle it in a conservative way which will mean he will be out for six weeks, if he needs surgery he will be out for four to five months, so a big blow for him and for us as well.
“So in general it is not getting better. Of course we have a few players who are struggling a little bit in this gruelling period with some knocks, some minor muscle problems.
“Also Lukas Rupp had some problems before the international break, not a major injury, but when you play every three days you have to think about rotation.
“I’m also concerned about a few other players but that’s quite normal when you have to play every three days.”
The one piece of good news was that Emi Buendia is expected to shake off a knock to his foot during the latter stages at Boro but even some academy players are unable to take the opportunity of coming on to the bench.
Centre-back Andrew Omobamidele and Tyrese Omotoye were not involved as City’s U23s won 2-0 at Newcastle in Premier League Two this lunchtime but even the talented young duo are out of contention.
“Tyrese is injured, he is out for 12 days, without a training session for the under-21s, so no chance right now to be involved with us,” Farke added.
“The same with Andrew in the centre-back position, is also out at the moment.
“In the last game we had Reece McAlear together with us and a few of the other young players I’m pretty sure in the next few days we will see a few other faces. But a few similar problems even on under-21 level at the moment.”
It’s thought U23 striker Tom Dickson-Peters may be involved as back up for Teemu Pukki as the sole striker, while left-back Rob Nizet scored both goals during the U23s’ win at Newcastle.
That may well have boosted the 18-year-old Belgian’s chances of his first involvement at senior level, with midfielder Jacob Sorensen set to continue at left-back for a sixth game as Quintilla’s problem continues and Mumba starts his rehabilitations.
Farke admitted the Spaniard may even have to return to parent club Villarreal for assessment, whom he joined from on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent deal.
“Also out,” he explained of Quintilla. “It’s a bit of a mystery and it’s difficult to judge it because his muscle is absolutely fine, the scans are fine but he is still symptomatic and doesn’t seem to improve.
“There is a problem there with his hip so our physios and doctors were not able to find the solution during the last four weeks. I have no complaints about this, they are trying everything, they are working their socks off in order to get him fit but we are not finding the right solutions.
“Right now we have to go further on and to think about sending him pack to his mother club because he is a player of Vaillarreal and perhaps to speak with them about what should be the next steps.
“But I can’t give you any good news because all the scans of the muscle are fine but he is still moaning about symptoms in his hip and we are struggling to find the solution.
“So we probably need to send him back to get a second, third, fourth opinion, he has seen so many specialists across the country in the last four weeks but we are struggling to find the right decision.
“It’s a big blow for him and also for us because we need him back as quick as possible but sadly he will also definitely still be out for the next weeks.”