Injured Steven Whittaker to miss Norwich City’s Premier League opener

Chris Hughton confirmed after tonight's 1-1 friendly draw against Ajax summer signing Steven Whittaker will miss the Premier League kick-off with ankle ligament damage.

The Scottish international watched his team mates at Carrow Road with a protective boot on the left foot injured in last week's 1-0 win at Celtic. Hughton revealed Whittaker will not need to undergo surgery following extensive scans by City's medical team – but the Norwich chief has ruled him out of his plans for the opening day trip to Fulham on August 18.

Midfielder David Fox (knee) is Hughton's other injury concern with the midfielder yet to play any part in the club's encouraging pre-season build up.

'Steven will be a few weeks,' said Hughton. 'The good thing is it could have been worse and you do fear when a player goes over on an ankle and it is as sore as it was at the time he did it. The good news is it is nothing more than recovery. It doesn't need any type of surgery or operation but it will be a matter of weeks. It's just a little bit of ligament damage. I don't think he'll be ready for the start of the season. We are talking weeks, so not for the start of the season.

'With David he is a little bit slow in his recovery, but we are hoping he will train with the group Thursday or Friday and we will push him on from there. He has missed all of the pre-season so far. Although he has been doing some good running, regarding his ball work with the team he is a few weeks behind.'

Hughton also dismissed reports striker James Vaughan is poised for a season-long loan switch to SPL champions Celtic. The Norwich manager insists every senior star in his squad remains under consideration for the Premier League campaign.

'There is nothing in that. That is news to me,' said Hughton. 'What will always happen is that names are going to be mentioned, in or out. What I have to do is formulate the squad I want come the start of the season, the end of the month. James has done well in the period of time that he has been with us since the start of pre-season. James comes into the same category as everybody else. He is pushing for a place like the rest of the lads. At this moment I have got five forwards that are all pushing for places and want to be part of the plans and they are decisions I need to make over this pre-season period.'

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Vaughan played the opening 45 minutes of a tough friendly against the four-time European Cup winners.

'It was a big test,' said Hughton. 'They really showed their quality, they are the Dutch champions.'

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