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TEAM NEWS: Fitness boost for Norwich City ahead of Baggies’ clash

PUBLISHED: 15:30 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 23:00 10 August 2018

Marco Stiepermann has recovered from the knee problem that forced him off at Birmingham 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Marco Stiepermann has recovered from the knee problem that forced him off at Birmingham Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Marco Stiepermann and Ivo Pinto are in the Norwich City squad for the Championship home opener against West Brom on Saturday - but there is a fresh setback for Jamal Lewis.

Stiepermann was forced off in the second half of the 2-2 league draw at Birmingham with a knee issue but has responded well to treatment. Pinto is also fit for duty after a second full week’s training following a pre-season hit by a hamstring problem.

Head coach Daniel Farke reported no fresh injury worries for this weekend’s Carrow Road return - but Jamal Lewis will again miss out after a setback in his own road to recovery from a muscle problem.

“An unlucky situation,” said Farke, at Colney. “He was able to train all week with us until about two days again when he got a dead leg during the session. For that, it can be pretty painful but not a big problem. You feel it for four or five days so he hasn’t trained with us and that in addition with missing the most of pre-season we can’t bring him on the pitch for this weekend.

“Ivo was able to train all week. That is good and that is two full weeks now with the group. He is available for this game tomorrow. We have the cup game next week and it is important many players get minutes. You know my philosophy. There is no difference between cup and league and I want to go past Stevenage to go to the next round so it is not about giving game time away to bring in new lads.

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“Good news on Marco. Everything is sorted and he can play. It was a hit on the knee and we were a bit concerned because he didn’t feel at the beginning it was very stable. I think the problem was caused by the swelling and maybe a trapped nerve. By Tuesday he was able to train with us.

“Jordan Rhodes got a slight hit on his ankle, the other side this time. In general not too bad. All the players involved at Birmingham will be available.”

Ben Godfrey was a surprising omission from the matchday squad at St Andrew’s but Farke insisted there was no hidden agenda.

“No issues. Just a big competition,” he said. “I made it clear we have 23 outfield players in the last week or so and 24 this week with Jamal added. Every player is capable to present themselves in each and every session during the week.

“For example, in Ben’s position of a centre back, holding midfielder there is a lot of competition. He wasn’t involved at Birmingham but I made it clear he is very important to my plans and maybe we see him tomorrow.”

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