James Vaughan in line to return for Norwich City reserves at Swansea
Norwich's final Premier Reserve League fixture of the season at Swansea tonight could signal the latest fitness return for striker James Vaughan. (7pm)
Vaughan may feature for the second string after overcoming a hamstring injury which forced him to cut short his previous New Year comeback from knee ligament surgery.
The 23-year-old is now back in first team training as he bids to play a part in the club's Premier League finale. City chief Paul Lambert confirmed prior to the weekend that Vaughan was inching towards a competitive return after an injury-hit debut season in Norfolk.
'James is still a wee bit away,' said Lambert, on the eve of Manchester City's visit to Carrow Road. 'He has been training with the rest of the first team lads but he hasn't even played a reserve game so we have to be a little bit cautious. I think the reserves have got a game coming up so we might look at that, but he is doing alright at the minute.'
Vaughan has scored on both his reserve outings in 2012 against Chelsea at Carrow Road and away to West Brom before suffering a hamstring injury setback in training after playing the final 30 minutes of the club's FA Cup fifth round exit to Leicester in mid-February.
The former England U21 striker has so far been limited to four senior outings since his summer move from Everton. A knee problem suffered on the club's pre-season tour of Germany ruled him out of the start of the campaign before he suffered a facial injury in a clash with West Brom defender Gabriel Tamas and then damaged knee ligaments in his third cameo appearance during September's 2-1 Premier League home win over Sunderland.
Keeper Declan Rudd is expected to be involved in Llanelli tonight for his third consecutive reserve game since recovering from foot surgery.
- 1 Travellers set up 'unauthorised' camp in popular park
- 2 Large aircraft in shape of whale spotted above Norfolk
- 3 Massive care village and research park planned for edge of Norwich
- 4 Why is Norfolk not introducing a hosepipe ban?
- 5 Mods and rockers taking over Norfolk town for classic bike and scooter meet
- 6 Norfolk attraction to hold its largest ever fireworks display
- 7 City pub to reopen with new owners hoping to bring back 'good old days'
- 8 Woman filmed being raped while she was unconscious, court told
- 9 High Court threat to A47 dualling plan
- 10 'Risk of injury' - Aldi recalls product due to safety fears
Rudd is likely to be one of the more experienced members in a travelling squad featuring the club's young professionals and academy talent. Rudd also featured in November's corresponding reserve fixture at Carrow Road. Aaron Wilbraham rescued a late point for a strong Canaries' outfit that included the likes of Simon Lappin, Chris Martin, Simeon Jackson and Andrew Surman. Defensive duo Dani Ayala (knee) and Marc Tierney (groin) have both been ruled out for the rest of this season after picking up fresh injuries in the last home reserve draw against Sunderland.
Lambert is also unlikely to risk any of his front line troops for a long haul cross-country trip ahead of this weekend's Premier League trek to Blackburn.
City's second string head west bidding for their first away league win in their final fixture since returning to Premier Reserve League action this season.