Monday, November 26, 2012
Injuries to John Ruddy and Michael Turner presented an unwanted postscript to Norwich’s latest hard-earned Premier League point.
Turner missed the trip to Goodison Park with a shoulder problem damaged in the previous win over Manchester United and Chris Hughton has already ruled the big centre-back out of Wednesday’s trip to Southampton. The manager’s prognosis also suggested Turner is a major doubt to face his former club Sunderland this weekend.
Ruddy’s thigh injury was set to be assessed yesterday by Norwich’s medical staff, but the England international must also be a serious concern for the pending south coast trip to face Saints’ outfit buoyed by a 2-0 league win over Newcastle. The 26-year-old had only recovered from a knee injury suffered against United to rejoin training on the eve of the Everton game.
“He just felt his thigh and that is why he wasn’t able to kick the ball, so hopefully he has come off at the right time. We are hopeful he will be okay,” said Hughton. “The knee has cleared up. He had no problem with that at all. He trained for the first time on Friday with the squad and he did some work with Dave Watson on the Thursday.
“The knee is absolutely fine, that is the good news and we just need to wait and see what happens with his thigh, but in Bunny (Mark Bunn) we have a very good replacement that we had to bring on towards the end.
“Michael will not be fit (for Southampton). We’re assessing it and we are hoping it will not be a while. It is certainly not going to be a longer-term one but possibly a matter of weeks; certainly not Wednesday, whether he has any chance for Saturday, I don’t know at this stage.”
Ruddy underlined his quality again at Goodison Park with one excellent parry to deny Leighton Baines in the second period before leaving the field eight minutes from the end of normal time to a rapturous reception from the Toffees’ faithful after spending five years at the club without making the breakthrough.
“I’m sure John thoroughly enjoyed his time there but leaving has been to our benefit,” said Hughton.
“We’ve seen it numerous times with goalkeepers. When somebody leaves somewhere to play regularly they are able to develop their game.
“That’s absolutely not being negative towards Everton, it’s normal at every club and possibly if John was there, they’ve got a wonderful keeper in (Tim) Howard, so he would possibly be sitting on the bench week in, week out, not getting that opportunity.
“Sometimes you need to get that opportunity, get away and see if you can develop. Fortunately for us, John developed into an excellent goalkeeper.”