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Club News

Team news: Norwich City v Portsmouth

4 January 2019

Daniel Farke said Jamal Lewis and Emi Buendia are both ahead of schedule in their recoveries from injury.

Buendia [ankle ligaments] and Lewis [hamstring] picked up knocks in the Boxing Day draw with Nottingham Forest and were originally ruled out of action for a month.

However, the City boss delivered some positive news on the fitness of two of his key youngsters.

"Emi Buendia is a bit ahead of his recovery plan. He could return a lot earlier than we expected," he said.

"There is also good news with Jamal Lewis. I expect him to be back for next week and the game with West Brom."

There was more positive news delivered, this time on Alex Tettey. The influential holding midfielder picked up an injury in the New Year's Day draw at Brentford but is expected to return for the West Brom game.

Elsewhere, the Boss said Marco Stiepermann, who like Tettey also came off injured at Griffin Park, is likely to return for the Birmingham City game on January 18.

Looking ahead to tomorrow's FA Cup game with Portsmouth, Farke said it's a good chance for the likes of Kenny McLean, Felix Passlack, Ben Marshall and Grant Hanley to impress and show what they're made of, with gametime having been hard to come by for all this season.

"Kenny McLean has been prepared for three-and-a-half weeks now after his injury. He has looked sharp recently in training and there is a good chance he will be involved.

"Felix has had a tricky situation because he expected to have more gametime. He's not far away, his performances on the training pitch have been pretty good. 

"Ben had a difficult start here. He had a very good pre-season but didn't deliver so much in the first few games. Then he had lots of illness problems and we were on an unbelievable run during this time. It's a good chance for him tomorrow."

"It's also a good chance for Grant to get some minutes tomorrow. He didn't really have a pre-season and was injured for a period this year but he is back and ready."

Farke added that it's important he finds a balance between resting players and remaining competitive, in order to progress to the fourth round.

"It's important for players coming out of rehab so they can be prepared for the rest of the season. I don't want to take risks but players need gametime. It's important to find a balance.

"There are smart decisions to be made but we want a strong line-up and to go through."

Finally, Farke said that Jordan Rhodes is eligible for the Cup game and that he will be staying at Carrow Road for the rest of the season, despite the managerial change at parent-club Sheffield Wednesday.


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