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Team news: Hernandez injury blow for Canaries ahead of Reading trip

PUBLISHED: 14:41 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 18:37 18 September 2018

Onel Hernandez is pushing for a start after his injury lay-off Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Onel Hernandez is pushing for a start after his injury lay-off Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Onel Hernandez was the headline name among a worrying fresh injury bulletin delivered by Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Reading.

The Cuban winger has been among City’s best performers so far this season, winning the club’s player of the month award for August, but is set for surgery on a hernia tomorrow and will miss at least a couple of weeks.

In addition to that blow, fellow winger Ben Marshall has a stomach bug, Marco Stiepermann has a hip issue and Ivo Pinto has not yet recovered from his hamstring trouble.

“In general we have to play without Kenny McLean (ankle) for a few days more and further on without Louis Thompson (hamstring) who will last a bit longer, obviously without Grant Hanley (quad), without Ivo Pinto,” Farke said with a sigh, following on from such a positive 1-0 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday.

“Good news with Ivo, he returned today to team training but it’s too early after being out for 10 days, just one training session, so he will not travel with us but at least he is back in team training and could be available for the next game against QPR.

“We have to do without Ben Marshall, he is ill with a bad stomach overnight and wasn’t able to sleep, so is not able to travel with us.

“And sadly we also have to do without Onel Hernandez, he has a hernia and will be operated on tomorrow and will be out, I would say there is a bit of hope for the home game against Stoke but 100 percent he will be out for the next two-and-a-half weeks or five games, we will have to be without him.”

Hernandez has two goals and three assists to his name in all competitions so far this season but is likely to be missing until at least the home game against Stoke on October 6.

“He felt this problem for several weeks because he is a bit weak in his body with this,” City’s boss explained. “We were hoping that we would be able to stretch this until the summer break because it’s not like a broken leg where you have to operate.

“It’s pretty often you can do this during a break but it depends on how much the player has.

“The games in the weeks before it was okay, the first time we were a bit concerned was the end of last week because he felt this a bit more.

“Thank God he was able to handle this during the (Middlesbrough) game but after the game he came to us and said ‘I feel really uncomfortable and also in my head it is not easy to go further on knowing there is a problem’.

“Of course we are all a bit sad because he was in a brilliant shape and really crucial for us, and also when you don’t know this you can’t know that he was playing with some problems.

“But in general I think it’s the best for him and at least in the mid to long term to do without him now, although it is tricky to handle all these things in personal terms at the moment we had to do this in order to have him fit again as soon as possible.”

Press conference recap: City prepare for trip to Reading

Stiepermann came off during the latter stages of the win over Boro but Farke is still hopeful the midfielder will be okay to travel to Reading, following his most positive performance yet in a Canaries shirt.

“Marco had some problems and I had to substitute him because his hip flexor was tight, he got a hit against his hip flexor and we were really concerned after the game,” Farke continued.

“I would say there is still a small question-mark behind his name today, he played with some tablets and was fine and able to train but we have to wait and see how he is in the afternoon and overnight.

“I hope he is available because he was crucial for our win and was there with a really good performance.”

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