Norwich City defensive duo Marc Tierney and Dani Ayala suffer fresh injury setbacks

Paul Lambert revealed injured defenders Marc Tierney and Dani Ayala are poised to visit specialists after breaking down again in the club's midweek reserve draw against Sunderland.

Tierney has aggravated his long-standing groin issue whilst Ayala has a suspected knee ligament problem following a heavy late fall in Tuesday's 1-1 Colney draw. Lambert admitted at his pre-match Everton press call on Friday morning Tierney's latest setback is a hammer blow for the 26-year-old, who has been sidelined with the same injury since the 2-2 Premier League draw at Wolves in December.

'With Marc, this problem seems to be on-going. He'll go and see somebody next week and we have to try and get to the bottom of this, what is wrong,' said Lambert. 'It is the groin again, which has been the same since Wolves in December. We've tried everything to get him back but he is going to have see a specialist now. He'd only played 14 or 15 games (in the Premier League), but looked like he could handle the league. He is as frustrated as everybody else. We have tried to get him back as quickly as we could. It is just not to be. After him breaking down the other day the next thing is for him to go and see somebody. Daniel looks as if he has a little bit of a ligament problem on the outside of his knee. He'll maybe have to see somebody as well.'

Ayala's Norwich spell to date has also been hampered by injury. The Spaniard suffered knee ligament damage in the club's Carling Cup exit to MK Dons before returning to the fold around the festive period. The youngster's blossoming central defensive pairing alongside Zak Whitbread was abruptly ended when both picked up hamstring problems in the home Premier League win over Bolton in early February.

Midfielder Anthony Pilkington trained on Thursday following the hamstring injury which has forced him to miss the past two Premier League games. Young keeper Declan Rudd successfully came through a 45-minute run out in midweek against Sunderland's second string. Lambert reported no fresh injury concerns to the men on duty at Fulham last weekend. Skipper Grant Holt comes back into contention after serving a one-match ban ahead of a difficult Easter programme against Everton and then Monday's trip to Champions-League contenders Tottenham.

'I think Everton are a really top side,' said Lambert. 'I think they have some really fantastic players. They have done brilliant and they are another team with a fantastic fan base. Since January they brought in a couple of lads to give them a hand. Their form at this minute is very, very good. With Tottenham, Harry (Redknapp) could be the next England manager and the team that he has built is something else so I am under illusions how hard the next two games are going to be.'

Spurs loanee Kyle Naughton will be ineligible for the trip to White Hart Lane.

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