Chris Hughton resists temptation to fast-track Michael Turner back into his Norwich City plans
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Chris Hughton will resist the temptation to fast-track Michael Turner back into his Norwich City’s plans for this weekend’s Premier League test against Sunderland.
Turner played his first 45 minutes since January 1 in a midweek behind-closed-doors friendly after overcoming a hamstring problem. City have shipped eight goals in their last two away league games but Hughton insists the 30-year-old is still not ready to face his former club at Carrow Road.
“There are always temptations and I know where we are in regard to the games running out,” said Hughton. “You still have to do what you feel is medically right. There are always tough decisions to make and Michael has been out for a period of time.
“He was involved in a training ground game this week and played 45 minutes but at this moment he needs a little bit more time and a bit more football. I think because he has been out for some three months now you have to be careful.
“He is only just back in training so he is close, but the last thing you want to do is go against medical advice, throw him in and find that he picks up another injury that sees him ruled out for another few weeks.
“I think he needs another good week’s training with the team and he will then come into contention for Swansea.”
Jonas Gutierrez was also on the comeback trail at Colney in midweek after a calf injury and could come into consideration for Sunderland’s visit. Leroy Fer (hamstring) remains sidelined but the Dutch international will be back to bolster the club’s survival push.
“He is doing wel and there are no complications from the injury. He will certainly be back before the end of the season,” said Hughton. “He is making good progress, but he is still going to be a few weeks. Jonas is one we’ll determine over the next few days. He has been out as well but nowhere near as long as Michael.”
Elliott Bennett could step up his return to full fitness in next Monday’s scheduled development league game against Southampton’s Under-21s as an over-age outfield player.
Bennett has not featured since the opening day of the Premier League campaign when he suffered knee ligament damage against Everton.
“That is one we are thinking about, yes,” confirmed Hughton. “He has been out since the first game of the season and he has only really been with the first team this week so that is three sessions in total, plus a couple with the Under-21s last week. He certainly needs a lot more training.
“I have to say he is looking sharp but it is very difficult to replicate what you have to do in a game out on the training pitch. He is one we will continue to push. There isn’t anybody who will have worked as hard to get fit as him and we were fortunate it was a straight-forward injury with no complications.”