Russell Martin’s back injury a concern to Norwich City chief Alex Neil

Norwich City defender Russell Martin faces a battle to make the Championship kick-off. Picture by Pa

Norwich City defender Russell Martin faces a battle to make the Championship kick-off. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Russell Martin faces a race to be fit for the beginning of the Championship season after leaving Norwich City's tour of Austria early for treatment on a back injury.

Alex Neil admitted after Wednesday's 3-1 friendly defeat to FK Dukla Prague in Kumberg that Martin must see a specialist after missing the last 10 days of training. City embark on their promotion bid with a trip to Blackburn Rovers on August 6.

'He had an issue last season as well but fortunately for Russell he has only missed a few games over the last season or two with the back,' said Neil.

'It goes into spasm and tightens up and we just thought it would wear off. We will now get him in to see a specialist and he will probably have an injection in it and that will hopefully calm it down to make him available for us as quickly as possible.

'There is nothing he can do out here which is why we have made the decision to send him back. We brought him over with the hope it would release and get better. In this situation it hasn't. He joined in the first couple of weeks, but in the last week and a half he has been restricted to doing pretty much nothing to be honest. If the injection does its job then generally you would look to three or four days to calm things down and then integrate him from there.'

Steven Whittaker has been another notable absentee but the Scot is set to feature at the weekend after recovering from a broken toe. Martin's return is balanced by the arrival of the club's Euro 2016 contingent, including new signing Michael McGovern, who flew in to the training base on Wednesday night.

'It'll be good to see them but none of those lads will play Saturday,' said Neil. 'It is far too soon. They will get their testing done, see where they are and they will start their work to hopefully integrate them back into the group.

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'Whitts fractured one of his toes. He didn't play in any of the games so far but providing he gets through training he will be available for Saturday to play.'