Russell may be pressed into action
David Cuffley Norwich City boss Paul Lambert may recall midfielder Darel Russell to the starting line-up for tomorrow's visit of League One leaders Charlton Athletic - even though he is not sure he will last 90 minutes.
Norwich City boss Paul Lambert may recall midfielder Darel Russell to the starting line-up for tomorrow's visit of League One leaders Charlton Athletic - even though he is not sure he will last 90 minutes.
Russell had only just returned to the senior ranks after seeking a move in the summer when a calf injury forced him to miss the 2-1 defeat at Milton Keynes Dons on Monday.
But the 28-year-old is back in training and in contention for a midfield slot because Stephen Hughes is rated doubtful with an Achilles injury, compounded by a problem with a nerve in his foot.
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“Darel trained yesterday for the first time,” said Lambert. “If he's not had a reaction from yesterday, I hope he's going to be OK.
“It's maybe a bit of a risk. He can play the game, but his fitness is not up to speed yet. If he starts, we don't know how long we'll get out of him but we don't have too many options at the minute.
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“We're asking lads to go when they're not fully fit at the moment but they're doing it, which is pleasing.”
Defender Michael Nelson is struggling with an ankle injury, but full-back Adam Drury could recover from a hip problem.
“We're more hopeful on Adam than the other ones,” said Lambert.
Midfielders Matthew Gill and Owain Tudur Jones are still sidelined, while full-back Rhoys Wiggins is still “miles away” from full fitness despite a 30-minute outing for the reserves at Peterborough on Wednesday.
Danish defender Jens Berthel Askou played at Milton Keynes with a bandaged head after a collision with goalkeeper Declan Rudd in training, and will soldier on.
Said Lambert: “He got a cut in the head in training from young Declan. The two of them hit each other in training when the ball was in the air and he has a few stitches down his forehead so he's got to protect it a little bit.
“If you have chosen to play that position, centre-half, you know things like that can happen. You can go for challenges and get an elbow in your head or you can have a clash of heads. It's part and parcel of the game and you've got to be big enough to take the knocks.”
Despite the injuries, Lambert is making no excuses ahead of the clash with the leaders.
“I think injuries are part and parcel of the game. It's up to the lads who come in to stand up and do as well as they possibly can,” he said.