Gilks to return sooner than expected

Glenn Roeder could have his goalkeeping wish list in place as early as next month - but it could mean the end of Joe Lewis' loan spell at Morecambe. The City boss is expected to have back-up keeper Matty Gilks available in a matter of weeks, rather than months, after injury, while Lewis will be recalled when his deal with the League Two side is over at the end of the month.

Glenn Roeder could have his goalkeeping wish list in place as early as next month - but it could mean the end of Joe Lewis' loan spell at Morecambe.

The City boss is expected to have back-up keeper Matty Gilks available in a matter of weeks, rather than months, after injury, while Lewis will be recalled when his deal with the League Two side is over at the end of the month.

It solves a problem which has troubled Roeder since he lost Gilks to an ankle ligament injury earlier this month - and discovered he was unable to recall Lewis, or Paul Gallacher, who is at Dunfermline on loan, because of the terms of their deals.

But Gilks had surgery this week and his recovery time has now been cut from three months to around six weeks.

“It's good news because we think he will be back early January,” said Roeder. “When he had the arthroscopic operation they looked inside where there was potential for the three ligaments to be ruptured and there was only one they had to repair. The other two were just strained, so they will heal quite quickly. It is just the question of that one ruptured ligament healing and that has reduced his time out from 12 weeks to maybe no more than six, which is good news.”

Steven Arnold will be understudy to first-choice David Marshall until Lewis returns, with Gilks then likely to take over when he is fit - and that suits Roeder perfectly.

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“We have a number one, a number two and a number three,” he said.

Lewis now faces a major battle with Gilks for the number two jersey, although he is a wanted man at Morecambe where manager Sammy McIlroy would like him to stay until the end of the season

“I've loved my time here, apart from the bruises, but I'm a Norwich player and I want to play for Norwich,” said Lewis.

“But if the opportunity isn't there at Norwich I'd love to stay at Morecambe, certainly until the end of the season.”