Louis Thompson’s star is on the rise at Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Louis Thompson is on track to be part of Norwich City's Championship crusade.
The combative midfielder will return to England on Saturday after impressing Daniel Farke on the club's German tour, following two years out with Achilles injuries.
Thompson admitted earlier in pre-season he feared he would never play football again, on his long road to recovery, but Farke is in no doubt the 23-year-old is ready to playing a leading role.
Alex Tettey is poised to miss the league opener at Birmingham City after contracting chicken pox, and Farke would have no fears turning to Thompson.
'It is not too ambitious to think he could play at Birmingham,' said Farke. 'I am pretty pleased with his performances, much better than expected. We felt he needed more games and training sessions to adapt to our philosophy and style so this is a big, big surprise, a positive surprise and now he can develop again.
'We are so pleased with Louis.
'He played nearly 75 or 80 minutes in the second pre-season friendly so he didn't play against Wolfsburg. We got the feeling we don't want to risk anything. The Achilles needs some quiet time.
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'He was just on the bikes, without any load on that area of the body. The next few weeks we will go further on with him and push him more.
'Right now, the toughest part of pre-season is nearly over and when we are back in Norwich it will be more of a normal rhythm and that will help him to be involved in each and every training session.
'One game per week is not a problem for him right now and pretty soon he can also play three games a week. In the beginning we have to be careful.'
Ivo Pinto is also set to return to full training next week after a hamstring problem that has wrecked his pre-season.
'It was a muscle fibre crack and we thought he would be out for four to six weeks. We are three and a bit weeks into his recovery and we think the hamstring is recovering very well,' said Farke.
'He has worked hard and looks better than expected. You always want all the players back pretty soon but we can handle this carefully.
'He had no pre-season so we can't give him 100pc load. We have to get him fit and perhaps he won't be for the first league games, but it is more important for the whole season.'