Norwich City’s Jacob Butterfield in race to be fit for Premier League kick-off

New signing Jacob Butterfield has not given up hope of being fit for the start of Norwich City's Premier League season – but knows time is against him.

The Canaries play their opening league match against Fulham at Craven Cottage three weeks today, and 22-year-old Butterfield has still played no part in his new club's pre-season programme.

He has been out of action since New Year's Eve when he suffered a serious knee injury playing for Barnsley against Leeds United.

Butterfield's rehabilitation programme means he has not been able to join in full training with his team-mates.

As City prepared to face Peterborough United in today's warm-up match at London Road, he said: 'It's been more than six months now, so I'm kind of used to that, sitting on the sidelines and not playing.

'It is frustrating, especially when I've just joined a new club and I want to be out there and getting myself ready for the new season and showing everyone what I can do.

'It's a bit frustrating when I'm stuck in the gym but I feel like I'm nearly there now. It's been a long time. I hope I can join in a bit in the next week or two and I hope at a push might be able to catch the last one or two pre-season games but I think that might be me being a bit hopeful.'

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Butterfield, who was at the club's Chapelfield shop to help launch their new away kit, is well aware that missing pre-season matches leaves him at a big disadvantage.

'It is important just to get you used to playing in games again,' he said. 'Probably it doesn't seem that way but just being in a match environment and getting that match speed back up, it helps you play a bit better by the time it does come to the season.

'If I was to miss all pre-season, I probably wouldn't play in the first game or two but I'm staying positive and hoping maybe I'll be able to make an appearance. But we'll have to wait and see, I'm not too sure.'

He will, at least, be there to lend his support when the big kick-off arrives.

'It's not nice to watch but when the games are on I'll be there and wishing the lads well, especially once we get into the proper games,' he said.

'I'll be going to the games if I'm not quite fit, but I'm staying positive and hoping I'll be fit then and I think I've got a decent chance to be fit.'