Four key players could return for derby

IPSWICH Town have not ruled out the possibility that four key players could be back involved for Sunday's Coca-Cola Championship derby against Norwich City at Portman Road (kick off noon).

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town have not ruled out the possibility that four key players could be back involved for Sunday's Coca-Cola Championship derby against Norwich City at Portman Road (kick off noon).

Striker Pablo Counago is at short odds to return to the attack now that he has completed a three-match suspension, and the Blues have still not ruled out a return for the injured David Norris, Shefki Kuqi and Jonathan Walters.

The latter three were expected to be kicking a ball about today in training and if they had a positive assessment after that they could train normally with the first-team squad tomorrow.

Town assistant manager Bryan Klug said today: “They are all making excellent progress and we will see what the signals are.

“All are desperate to play and at the moment we have not ruled them out.

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“But we don't want to take any risks and will be very careful that the players are 100 per cent right before including them.”

Norris has a heel injury and Kuqi a hamstring strain while Walters underwent a cartilage operation last month and has made better than expected progress having seen his surgeon on Wednesday who was delighted with the progress.

Jordan Rhodes, who scored the equaliser against Cardiff City on Wednesday, is expected to return to the bench.

The 18-year-old is yet to make his full debut although he showed Town's supporters what he is capable of with his opportunist finish against the Bluebirds.

Klug said: “Jordan is learning his trade, and bits and pieces as a substitute are doing him good.

“At this club we have always had a policy that if you are good enough you are old enough, but the way manager Jim Magilton is handling Jordan is perfect.”