Second striker blow for Norwich City as Wolves set to recall Vokes

Paul Lambert could be facing a double striker blow – just as Norwich City's Championship promotion challenge begins to reach its climax.

The City boss is already sweating over the fitness of talismanic striker Grant Holt, and has now been hit by news that Wolves seems certain to recall Sam Vokes.

The 21-year-old, who scored on his first City start at Watford on Tuesday, signed an emergency loan deal to stay at Carrow Road until the end of the season.

But Wolves look set to exercise their right to recall him after the initial 28-day period, which expires at midnight next Thursday, leaving him free to play against arch rivals Ipswich before returning to Molineux.

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy is desperately trying to stave off relegation from the top flight, but has been hit by a striker shortage, with Kevin Doyle out for the season and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake struggling with a hamstring strain, leaving Steven Fletcher as his only senior striker.

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'We can take Sam back and there's every chance I will,' said McCarthy. 'He's got his month to see out and we've got a recall on him. But I always have a recall on them after the first month. It's something we're looking at.'

McCarthy's needs could be bad news for Lambert, who has already lost Aaron Wilbraham for the season and saw Holt limp through the final few minutes at Vicarage Road, feeling the the top of his left leg.

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The initial fear was that it was a hamstring problem – although Lambert was hoping it was simply a case of cramp – but the fact that Holt didn't leave the pitch until the final whistle was some cause for optimism.

There was no official word from Colney yesterday, although Lambert may reveal a little more at his media conference today ahead of tomorrow's game against Nottingham Forest.

Lambert has a question mark over Wes Hoolahan and while striker Chris Martin has returned to training, he hasn't played for more than two months.

The injuries have come at the worst possible time for City, whose midweek draw dropped them to third in the table.

But there is optimism that Hoolahan will have shaken off the hamstring problem that has seen him miss the last two games, while Korey Smith is likely to be available after missing Watford with an eye infection.

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