City boss remains cautious about Byram's recovery after a year out
- Credit: Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Sam Byram's injury nightmare has now extended past a year at Norwich City and head coach Daniel Farke remains cautious about when the full-back will be able to return to full training.
It was on February 15 of last year that Byram pulled up injured 25 minutes into a 1-0 home Premier League defeat to eventual champions Liverpool, clutching his hamstring in pain after stretching to try and keep the ball in play.
That led to hamstring surgery and it was likely the £750,000 signing from West Ham would miss much of the rest of the season, only for the campaign to be suspended for three months in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Byram was then easing his way back to fitness as City prepared to resume their season in June, only for a problem to reemerge and further surgery was needed, keeping him out of action ever since.
The former Leeds trainee saw his time with the Hammers disrupted by injuries and a Championship loan at Nottingham Forest during 2018-19 had been ruined by a serious knee injury, returning with five appearances at the end of that season prior to his summer move to Norwich.
Farke provided an update on Byram's progress last week, as the defender passed a year since his last match.
"He's been out for 12 months, let's speak about him when he's really back," said City's head coach. "We give him all the time that he needs in order to make sure that he can go further on with playing football.
"He's doing his individual rehab, at the moment it looks better in comparison to four weeks ago, he's doing some stuff outside but is far away from team training.
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"So it's still not predictable when he can return to team training, he's doing some individual running but not at the highest intensity and highest speeds.
"We know we have to be careful with him and that when you are out for 12 months it is really a serious injury and you have to not put too much pressure on him and say he will be available in 'six or eight weeks'.
"We will give him all the time he needs. His first step is to make sure he can finish his rehab and then one day hopefully rejoin us in team training and then we can speak about he needs a few weeks in team training in order to be available. Then we can speak about his chances."
Back in September the Canaries boss had been hoping Byram would be back in training in January but that hasn't worked out.
The defender made 20 appearances last season prior to his injury blow and was keeping Jamal Lewis out of the team at left-back in the top flight before his problems began.
Farke concluded: "If he is fit, he has proved he is a top player and we have missed him a lot during the last 12 months but right now it's more like the most important topic is that he will get fit and healthy again."