Crofts walking disciplinary tightrope

Midfielder Andrew Crofts is set to return for Norwich City's televised Championship match at Reading tomorrow – but he is still walking a disciplinary tightrope.

Crofts missed the 1-1 draw at Millwall on Tuesday night, serving a one-match ban after being dismissed for two yellow card offences in the 2-2 draw at home to Burnley.

But the Wales international still has four yellows to his name, which means he is just one booking away from another ban as the Canaries visit the Madejski Stadium (5.20pm).

Manager Paul Lambert would not confirm Crofts inclusion in his eleven, but he is as near to an automatic selection as City possess at the moment.

'He'll come into the reckoning as everybody knows because he has been a massive player for me,' said Lambert.

'He knows himself he is going to have to be careful but at the same time you can't curtail his enthusiasm or workrate for the game, which has put him on a platform where he is performing fantastically at the moment.

'When the game goes and the ball moves as quickly as it does, sometimes it can be an absolute trivial thing that you go for and you catch your opponent and the referee can book you for it, so let's hope he comes through.'

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Apart from Crofts' return, Lambert must rely on the same players on duty at The Den.

With Adam Drury (calf) and Steven Smith (hip) still sidelined, Simon Lappin looks set for another stint at left-back.

'I thought he did a great job considering he is not a natural left-back but we don't have any other options,' said Lambert.

'None of the injured ones will be back,' he added. 'Michael Nelson is training with us, Adam is doing great and I hope next week he'll start to train – and Andrew Surman hopefully the same.'

Royals boss Brian McDermott is expected to stick with the side – and the three-pronged attack of Shane Long, Simon Church and Noel Hunt – that was unlucky not to beat highly-fancied Cardiff at the Madejski on Wednesday.

Midfielder Jimmy Kebe could figure on the bench, having been out for a month with a knee injury, but centre-back Ivar Ingimarsson remains sidelined due to a long-term hamstring problem.