Norris doubt for new season opener

BLUES manager Roy Keane is keeping his fingers crossed that he has key midfielder David Norris available for the opening games of the new Championship season.

Norris has gone down with a back problem and will not feature at Bury Town tonight and is a big doubt for the home game against West Ham on Saturday afternoon.

Last season Norris suffered a serious knee injury on the opening day of the season at Coventry and was out until Christmas - with Ipswich suffering their worst-ever start to any campaign.

With talented teenager Connor Wickham out for six weeks with an ankle injury and Damien Delaney expected to take several weeks to recover from a serious blood clot problem in his leg, Ipswich are having just the sort of pre-season preparation that Keane did not want.

He said of Norris: “Chuck is a concern for us. He’s got a stiff back and you have to be careful with that type of problem.

”He won’t play over the next few days and will be touch and go for the West Ham game at the weekend.”

Wickham has been left frustrated by his injury as it comes on the eve of a campaign where he is looking to establish himself as a first team regular with the Blues.

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“I took a shot at goal and felt my ankle give way,” explained Wickham.

“It’s very frustrating and it looks like I will be out for six weeks.”

Ipswich will miss his goal power in the vital opening league games along with Delaney’s steadying influence at the back.

If they have to do without Norris as well it will hamper Keane’s hopes of a bright start that will give a platform on which to build a successful campaign.

Left back Mark Kennedy underwent his medical yesterday tea time and his Norris�750,000 move from Cardiff City to Town could be completed later today, but the situation regarding Alex Bruce has become unclear.

The 26-year-old agreed terms with Sheffield United at the weekend, but the deal has stalled and Bruce has been training with Ipswich and could feature tonight. The previously agreed �200,000 deal is not a dead duck however.

Owen Garvan has also been training at Playford Road despite Town agreeing a �250,000 deal to sell him to Crystal Palace.

The 22 year-old has to discuss personal terms with Palace manager George Burley, who said:

“Owen is someone I would like to bring in and add to the squad but whether we can do it remains to be seen.

“He’s an extremely talented player whose good in possession of the ball and we are working hard to get him but still have a long way to go.”

Garvan and Conor Hourihane have been included in the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad for their European Championship match against Estonia in Dublin on August 10 - the same day Town play Exeter in the carling Cup.

Kevin Lisbie, 33, is set o sign a loan deal with Championship side Mill wall - and his departure from Portman Road will be no surprise to anyone, while ex-Town midfielder Velice Sumulikoski is on trial at Palace and available after leaving Preston.

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