Injury latest: Norwood a doubt, while Vincent-Young is 'doing great'

James Norwood appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court today Picture: ROSS HALLS

James Norwood has been struggling with a hamstring problem. Photo: Ross Halls - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says James Norwood remains an injury doubt ahead of tomorrow's League One match at Crewe.

The Blues are short of strikers at present, with Oli Hakwins out for six weeks following knee surgery and Kayden Jackson now starting a three game ban following his red card in Tuesday night's 1-0 home loss to Sunderland.

Norwood returned from a long-term groin problem in September only to suffer a hamstring injury in November. Since then he's made just two appearances.

“We’ll have to wait and see how he is and how he’s feeling," said Lambert, speaking ahead of tomorrow's ninth versus 10th clash at Gresty Road.

"He’s not done too much with us. We’ll just have to see if he comes through this one (training session). 

“We could hold him back from another game to get him fully right for the next one (against Blackpool next Saturday). That’s a valid point.  

“He’ll tell us himself how he’s feeling. Whether he’s fit enough to start, I’m not so sure."

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If Norwood isn't fit, it would leave the goal shy Blues with just Aaron Drinan and Freddie Sears as forward options. Asked if youngster Tyreece Simpson could be promoted to the squad, as he was last season, Lambert said: “No, we’re okay, we’ve got enough guys in the squad at the minute." 

Meanwhile, Lambert says that Kane Vincent-Young is set to make a long-awaited injury comeback with the Under-23s next week.

The dynamic right-back hasn't featured in a competitive game for the Blues since undergoing adductor surgery in November 2019. The 24-year-old, who was dogged by an Achilles issue, returned to training in early December, and was said to be looking 'incredible' by Lambert then, but went on to suffer a fresh set-back (thigh strain).

“He’s doing great," said Lambert, when asked for an update. "He’s trained with us the last few days and done really well. There are some (U23) games next week, so hopefully he’ll get part of a game next week. Hopefully he’ll be okay from there. 

“That’s a great step because he’s been a big miss him. 

“If we can get it him it’ll be a big plus for us because he’s definitely athletic, he’s a good player and he’s a good character. 

“Hopefully he comes through today and next week."

Experienced midfielder Cole Skuse is another long-term absentee. He hasn't featured all season having undergone surgery on a knee injury sustained in training back in October.

“He’s doing alright, he’s doing okay," said Lambert. "He’s not done anything with us at all. There’s no pressure from me because it was a nasty injury he had. 

“That’s been another big hole. People forget that. We just have to wait and see how Cole is. 

“He gives you something different with experience. Andre (Dozzell) has been brilliant for us, but he’s a young kid who has played nearly every game. 

“Sometimes you need a little bit of help from someone who has been there, seen it and done it. That’s where Cole comes into his own really."

Lambert also revealed that Teddy Bishop has "had had little problems since he’s come back so we’ve got to watch him" and that Toto Nsiala remains sidelined with the hamstring strain that saw him drop out of the team in midweek.

The Blues boss also hinted that there might be a change at left-back tomorrow, Irishman Stephen Ward having made way for Myles Kenlock in the latter stages against Sunderland.

“Listen, Wardy is 34/35," said Lambert. "He’s been brilliant fir us. He’s an incredible character in the dressing room. 

“He’s played an incredible amount of football. Probably more than he thought. 

“I’ll see how he feels and see how Myles is. 

“I think Myles is what you read on the tin. Whenever he comes in he’ll be steady for you. If he does come in then he has to take that opportunity. He’s never really let us down Myles. That’s the biggest compliment I can give him. 

Lambert said that Jon Nolan's withdrawal in midweek was purely precautionary, following the midfielder's recent return from calf/groin problems, adding 'we can’t take too many risks with people at the moment'. 

On the absent duo of James Wilson (knee) and Keanan Bennetts (groin), Lambert said: “James is doing alright, he’s back running. Keanan trained yesterday and hopefully he’ll get some part of a game next week. He’s another one who looked pretty decent.” 

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