Norwich City hitman Lewis Grabban poised to play his part in Championship promotion tilt

Norwich City striker Lewis Grabban is closing in on a return from ankle surgery. Picture: Matthew Us

Norwich City striker Lewis Grabban is closing in on a return from ankle surgery. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Alex Neil delivered a clean bill of health ahead of Norwich City's Championship trip to Bolton and revealed fit-again striker Lewis Grabban is also back in training.

Grabban will not be risked this weekend but the former Bournemouth hitman has stepped up his recovery from ankle surgery.

'Lewis is coming on very well,' said Neil, at Colney on Friday morning. 'He has taken part in training this week so he is ahead of schedule and could feature a lot sooner than we expected. There won't be any dates set. I am not setting him any targets, just in case, but he has only been out for a short period of time really, something like four weeks, which if you are back training after that time you are still relatively fresh and have a level of fitness.

'The rest of the boys are in good shape. There are no niggles causing us any problems. Apart from Bradley (Johnson) being suspended we are fine.'

Johnson will miss the league games at Bolton and former club Leeds after picking up a two-match suspension but Neil has plenty of options to compensate for the influential midfielder's untimely absence.

'It is disappointing to lose any players, particularly guys starting most of the games, but we lost Lewis upto the stage he was doing well for us,' he said. 'We just have to adapt and give someone an opportunity and make sure they take it. I have my thoughts on how we go about that, ever since he picked up his booking, I know after analysing Bolton how I want to go about it and I am comfortable about the situation.

Bolton boss Neil Lennon is promising the Canaries a tough afternoon despite the Trotters heading towards a mid-table finish. Wanderers play a number of the leading promotion candidates over the run-in and confidence is high after hammering Cardiff 3-0 over Easter.

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'It's important we finish strongly,' he told The Bolton News. 'I think now we're relatively safe, so we can relax a little bit without looking back over our shoulder all the time. For me it's job done. At one point we were looking at the play-offs but we had so many important injuries we had to get players in at short notice.

'We will be dangerous for the likes of Norwich, Brentford and Bournemouth. We want to put down a marker for what we want to do next season. We don't fear anyone at home and the result at Cardiff will give us a massive psychological lift. I won't have us say our season is up – we have got Bournemouth and Brentford to come and we want to spoil some parties. We have our own agenda.'

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