Norwich City boss Paul Lambert reveals Ward injury concern
Norwich City boss Paul Lambert delivered a mixed injury bulletin on Friday morning ahead of tomorrow's televised Premier League test against Arsenal at Carrow Road.
Midfielder Bradley Johnson (concussion) and defender Russell Martin (ankle) have both been passed fit to face the Gunners. Johnson was taken off in City's 3-2 league defeat at Aston Villa before the international shutdown whilst Martin was forced to pull out of the Scotland squad for a friendly in Cyprus.
Longer term injured centre backs Zak Whitbread and Dani Ayala are now both back in training but Lambert admitted Elliott Ward (knee) is no nearer a return after missing all of City's top flight campaign.
Lambert revealed Ward may be facing a fresh bout of surgery if he does not respond to treatment - but the City chief is not in the January market for a centre back.
'Wardy has a little bit of problem at the minute that we are trying to get to the bottom off,' said Lambert. 'It's just a concern for me at the minute. It's taking a lot longer than I actually thought when it originally happened. So that is a concern. I think there is one more thing we might have to look at it before that (procedure) becomes a possibility if he doesn't come through that. Zak is training, Dani is training so they are not too far from coming back - but right now they are nowhere near to getting back on the pitch. It's not one of the positions that I feel might need strengthening because if we get them back then hopefully we'll be okay.'
Lambert admits the international shutdown offered the Canaries a welcome respite.
'For us it came at the right time,' he said. 'I think after the defeat at Aston Villa it was a good time. I can understand people saying the opposite but for us it was a chance to recharge and hopefully we'll be ready for tomorrow. We had one or two knocks after the Villa game so it allowed those lads to recover. For as hard as Liverpool, Man United and Chelsea were, Arsenal are a top, top side. They are a brilliant football side and we are going to have to play above ourselves to get something. But, we are at home, and the onus is on us to make the running. We'll try everything we can to win. There is no point in trying to kid anybody on, Arsenal are a brilliant side but we're at home and we'll try to go at them.'