Scotland international could bolster City U23s during Wolfsburg clash
First-team involvement is set to bolster Norwich City Under-23s as they face European opponents at Carrow Road this evening.
Kenny McLean could make his long-awaited return from injury as the Canaries try to keep their Premier League International Cup campaign alive.
The likes of Ben Marshall, Felix Passlack and Dennis Srbeny are all short of game time, while out-favour-duo Ivo Pinto and Nelson Oliveira have also featured for the U23s at times this season.
Only three over-age outfield players can be selected for the game though, a 7pm kick-off which David Wright’s team need to win to stand a chance of qualifying from Group C.
Scotland midfielder McLean had to have ankle surgery just three games into his City career, after being caught by a late tackle during a 3-1 home win over Stevenage in the first round of the Carabao Cup in August.
The 26-year-old summer arrival returned to team training last week, with head coach Daniel Farke saying: “He will train with the under-23s and if everything works then perhaps he can even be involved in the under-23 games against Wolfsburg.
“We are looking forward to having him back. He is pretty close.”
It looks unlikely that fit-again skipper Grant Hanley will be on U23 duty again, with Timm Klose pulling out of Saturday’s 3-2 win over Bolton in the warm-up, leaving youngster Ben Godfrey to deputise at short notice.
Long-term injury victims Matt Jarvis (knee and ankle), Carlton Morris (knee) and Louis Thompson (shoulder) have all been back in training recently but are yet to make an U23 return.
Farke added: “Louis is doing some running stuff on the pitch and some technical exercises but he will need a few more weeks before his shoulder is ready for the duels.”
Some of the younger members of the U23s squad are unlikely to be involved against Wolfsburg as well, due to last night’s FA Youth Cup tie at Port Vale.
The Germans thrashed Athletic Bilbao 4-0 in their opening game but the Spanish side bounced back with a 3-0 win against a young Norwich team last month.
However, Wolfsburg were beaten 2-1 by Tottenham last week, who City will take on at Colney on Friday, January 18.