Nelson keen to face Wigan
David Cuffley Norwich City boss Bryan Gunn breathed a sigh of relief after defender Michael Nelson was able to travel back with the team after being knocked out and stretchered off during last night's 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.
Norwich City boss Bryan Gunn breathed a sigh of relief after defender Michael Nelson was able to travel back with the team after being knocked out and stretchered off during last night's 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.
The centre-half and new vice-captain was taken to hospital when he was rendered unconscious after jumping for a header with Palace defender Jose Fonte. He was carried off after a five-minute delay following the 75th-minute collision.
But the team bus collected Nelson from hospital and Gunn said the former Hartlepool man was eager to play against Wigan in Saturday's final pre-season friendly at Carrow Road.
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“We picked Michael up and he's been given the all-clear from the hospital, although we will do our own checks at Colney today,” said Gunn.
“He had to travel back in his kit on the back of the bus. He's keen to play on Saturday but we'll assess that over the next few days.”
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The incident could have left not just Nelson, but Gunn with a big headache as the League One kick-off looms in 10 days' time, but the City boss knew the clash was accidental.
He said: “It was two centre-halves going for a ball. They pushed the big boy Fonte into a forward position. We've seen it on the video, there was no intent there. It was just a physical challenge between two committed players.
“Unfortunately, Michael came off worse on this occasion. I think he was unconscious for 10 or 15 seconds and, quite rightly, the medical team worked very quickly, got him on to the stretcher and he was in the local hospital getting assessed.
“Michael's a hardened competitor in League One and I'm sure he's had a number of concussions throughout his career. But we need to make sure he's 100 per cent right before we take the field.”
Full-back Adam Drury and striker Grant Holt were also substituted after knocks at Selhurst Park.
“Adam had a big whack on his foot and Simon Spencer's had a good look and I think it's just mild bruising at the moment,” said Gunn. “Grant must have kicked the bottom of someone's boot early in the game. I think he just kept feeling it every time he hit the ball. We'll have a look at them at Colney and I'm sure both will be ready for selection for the weekend.”
Gunn confirmed City had released striker Kris Bright after the New Zealander's trial with the club, including the final 10 minutes at Selhurst Park.
“Kris showed some nice touches and almost scored near the end of the game, but we have decided not to take that any further. I believe he has other options,” said Gunn.