Dean Smith provides Norwich injury update as key man set to miss Crystal Palace game

Norwich City could be without Josh Sargent for Wednesday night’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace at Carrow Road.

The American forward was part of Dean Smith’s starting XI to take on Wolves in the FA Cup on Saturday but had to pull out shortly before kick-off due to illness.

The Canaries still managed to progress into the fifth round without Sargent, coming away from Molineux with a 1-0 win, though Norwich manager Dean Smith said he wasn’t certain whether the forward would recover on time for Wednesday’s game.

“We’re still not sure whether he will be available,” Smith told reporters during Tuesday morning’s press conference. “He is still feeling the after-effects of Saturday’s illness.

“It’ll be a blow because he is a big player for us and a good player. He got his first couple of goals for us against Watford in our last Premier League game.

“He was due to play against Wolves but we performed well without him. We feel we have got players who can cover but it will be a disappointing blow.”

Norwich will be boosted by the return of Lukas Rupp however, who has returned to full fitness and will be available for Wednesday’s game.

The Canaries are currently 17th in the Premier League table thanks to back to back wins, with Smith adding that there was now more competition for places in the squad.

“I can see confidence in the group,” said Dean. “We believed that we had a good squad and we believed that we could be competitive, but winning breeds confidence.

“We have got players pushing each other in training. We have got players coming back from illness and injury and the squad is looking a lot healthier now.

“The strength of our squad now is probably what pleases me most. There are good players now looking to get into the team, if you are not playing well. It is difficult for me to pick my best XI.”

Palace’s last victory in the Premier League came over Norwich at the end of December, with the Eagles running out comfortable 3-0 winners at Selhurst Park.

Odsonne Edouard, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jeffrey Schlupp all scored in the first half in south London in a game where both sides were affected by Covid-19.

“They’re a good team, have got good players and good energy with a really good structure,” Smith added.

“Patrick [Vieira]’s got his own identity in his side that he wants to play, which is different to last season, so we have to be really careful and plan for a good team.”

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