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TEAM NEWS: Massive injury boost for City's Premier League push

PUBLISHED: 16:57 23 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:59 23 August 2019

Fit-again defender Christoph Zimmermann is closing in a return to the Norwich City squad Picture: Tony Thrussell/Archant

Fit-again defender Christoph Zimmermann is closing in a return to the Norwich City squad Picture: Tony Thrussell/Archant

Archant

Daniel Farke revealed Christoph Zimmermann is making rapid progress in his recovery from knee surgery as he bids to spearhead Norwich City's Premier League tilt.

The centre back is scheduled to return to full team training next week and could be an outside bet for the upcoming top flight trip to West Ham ahead of the international break.

With Timm Klose passed fit for Chelsea's Saturday lunchtime visit to Carrow Road, Farke is relishing more central defensive options after going into the opening two Premier League games with only Ben Godfrey and Grant Hanley fit.

Josip Drmic (hamstring) is sidelined this weekend while Onel Hernandez underwent knee surgery earlier in the week that is expected to keep him out for three months.

"Christoph Zimmermann, we have some good news," said Farke. "He was involved in our warm up on Thursday and later did some individual work. He is not far away from returning to team training. He could a little topic for West Ham but if not I expect him back 100pc after the international break.

"Timm is available (for Chelsea). He had a full week with us. He had been out for nearly three weeks and a difficult pre-season. Perhaps not a topic for the starting line up but for the last nine days he has been in team training. That is good news because we were struggling a lot with our central defenders.

"Josip, no chance. Still out with this injury. He is doing some individual stuff on the pitch and we hope he is back on the pitch next week.

"Our longer term injury is Onel Hernandez. He had the surgery and everything went well but he will be out for three months, so just one week into that."

Farke feels facing Frank Lampard's Chelsea is the perfect opponent after sweeping aside Newcastle United.

"We are still the underdog and that is the case against Chelsea," he said. "There is always a danger after such a good performance that we are not greedy. But that is why it is good to play Chelsea, who is a top class side. I don't have to warn my players. They know they need 100pc to have any chance.

"I was a bit annoyed we conceded a goal in extra-time but it was a well-deserved win. How we controlled their counters, how well we worked on the counter, how we controlled possession, our set pieces, more or less an all-round performance. It is difficult to rank it, but I am not surprised how we have adapted. We believe in our way and our players and we stick together.

"It was an impressive performance and I don't take it as given we are there now. Against Liverpool in many areas we were also competitive so that is good for the confidence."

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