Norwich City defender Ward’s injury boost

Norwich boss Paul Lambert revealed on Thursday morning Elliott Ward could have turned a corner in his long running fitness battle with a knee injury.

Ward has yet to feature in the Premier League after damaging his knee during the club's pre-season tour to Germany. Lambert admitted recently the big centre back had suffered a set back in his recovery, but initial fears of further surgery appear to have receded.

The positive injury bulletin comes after fellow centre backs Zak Whitbread and Dani Ayala both stepped up their recoveries from hamstring and knee injuries respectively with a 90 minute outing in midweek against Dereham in the Norfolk Senior Cup.

Lambert now has a decision to make whether to fast-track the pair into the travelling party for this weekend's trip to Premier League leaders Manchester City.

'I think if push came to shove and I wanted to do it I don't think either would let us down,' he said. 'They are not too far away now. As I said before, they might just need one more but they are doing okay. The two lads who played the other night seem to be fine.

'Hopefully in the next week or so Wardy starts to get going and that will sustain it and he will be back in contention. It was a bit of pain how it was going off and on and hopefully this time it is not too bad and we are talking weeks not months.'

Lambert reported no fresh injury concerns after last weekend's win over QPR. The City boss is optimistic Ritchie De Laet can shake off a back problem, although the Belgian has yet to train this week.