Massive injury boost for Norwich City midfielder

Alex Pritchard is targeting a return to training over the upcoming international break. Picture: Lor

Alex Pritchard is targeting a return to training over the upcoming international break. Picture: Lorraine O'Sullivan/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Lorraine O'Sullivan/Focus Images

Alex Pritchard is poised to return to training over the upcoming international break for the first time since ankle surgery.

The former Tottenham starlet was the stand out performer for the Canaries towards the end of last season but suffered a lengthy injury lay-off after undergoing ankle surgery following the pre-season friendly at Cambridge United.

Head coach Daniel Farke delivered the positive injury news on Monday afternoon ahead of City’s Championship home game against Wolves. Pritchard is scheduled to return over the second part of the international fortnight and could be back on the pitch before Christmas.

“Alex will probably return to team training during the international break,” said Farke. “We hope he can be back in the second week. That does not mean after one or two sessions he is back and can start playing. But after two or three weeks maybe some minutes in games. Because Pritchard has been out for so long, he won’t be able to play straight away. He won’t be 100pc but then we can look to have him starting games from mid-December or January. The situation has improved.”

Nelson Oliveira is ruled out of Tuesday’s latest game with a calf problem but compatriot Ivo Pinto is expected to be passed fit after suffering a muscle injury during the 2-1 home defeat to Derby County over the weekend.

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“Ivo got a hit on his leg and when it’s cold it can seem worse than it is,” said Farke. “Sunday he wasn’t able to run or train, but he’s a tough guy and should be able to play.

“Nelson has a calf strain, but might be okay for Saturday against Bolton Wanderers. we had a scan and there is no blood on the calf. It is not an easy situation for him because the last three or four weeks he is not able to do much but train individually and he still feels these problems. That is annoying for him. For us, it is not a good situation.

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“I hope he can sort this out over the international break but it depends a little bit if he has to go to the international team or not. He will see specialists to look at his back and his groin and a dentist to look at his teeth problem, as they might all be connected. Hopefully we can find out what the problem is and get it sorted and have him back at 100pc, as he’s a very important player.”

Steven Naismith (ankle) is still out but Farke reported no other injury concerns ahead of Wolves.

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