Paul Lambert reveals fresh Norwich City injury blows ahead of Stoke Premier League test

Paul Lambert delivered a mixed injury bulletin ahead of Norwich's Premier League trip to Stoke this weekend.

Centre back Dani Ayala is fit again after his recent hamstring injury sustained in the 2-0 win over Bolton last month. The Spaniard trained with the first team squad on Thursday and will make the trip to the Potteries along with midfielder Jonny Howson. The ex-Leeds captain successfully came through a 90-minute reserve outing in midweek against Wolves. Lambert, however, revealed at his Friday morning pre-match press briefing striker James Vaughan has suffered a 'little setback' in his fitness return from knee ligament surgery – although the City chief stated the latest niggle is not another knee problem. Left back Marc Tierney is also struggling with a knee problem after recovering from the groin injury that had sidelined him since mid-December.

'James has had a little setback, nothing too severe, but he won't travel,' said Lambert. 'Marc won't travel either, which is disappointing. The groin is fine now, he has a problem with his knee. I'll leave that with the medical people here, but it is not coming along perhaps as quickly as what we thought. Sometimes it shows up okay, sometimes it doesn't. Daniel trained yesterday (Thursday), which is good news for us. The game is probably too early for him this weekend, but the fact he trained with us is pleasing.'

Lambert is yet to decide whether Howson makes his first Premier League match day squad since a January transfer window move from Yorkshire. Fellow new arrival Ryan Bennett finally linked up with his new team mates for the first time on Thursday after England U21 duty and will travel to Stoke.

'Listen he only joined us yesterday. So he probably doesn't know too many people's names let alone anything else,' said Lambert. 'He'll come up with us tomorrow to see what it is all about. He is obviously fit enough because he has played all the games, but we have lads who are playing really well at the minute but he is in the squad.

'Jonny is also in the squad. I will decide between now and tomorrow what I am going to do with him. He played well and he did okay the other day, but you can never judge anything on a reserve game. I won't just put him in for the sake of putting him on. It would have to be if I felt he could change the game, whether it was to try and win it or whatever the case may be.'

Lambert also confirmed Russell Martin and Simeon Jackson were only poised to return from international duty today. Welsh pair Steve Morison and Andrew Crofts were back in the fold on Thursday after featuring in the Gary Speed memorial match against Costa Rica.

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