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Norwich City boss Chris Hughton delighted by Michael Turner’s return to fitness

PUBLISHED: 13:33 02 August 2013 | UPDATED: 13:33 02 August 2013

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton is striving to unlock the goalscoring potential of Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper. Picture: Simon Finlay

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton is striving to unlock the goalscoring potential of Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper. Picture: Simon Finlay

Archant Norfolk

Norwich City’s pre-season preparations have been boosted by the return to fitness of centre-back Michael Turner.

The 29-year-old formed a strong partnership with Sebastien Bassong at the heart of City’s defence last season but both missed the pre-season tour of the USA.

However Turner took part in an open training session held at Carrow Road yesterday, providing Canaries boss Chris Hughton with a welcome boost.

“That’s probably the most pleasing one,” Hughton said of Turner’s participation in the public session.

“Bradley Johnson hasn’t done so much training, he did the first couple of weeks, so perhaps he’s fortunate he’s got that under his belt.

“But Michael has missed the majority of the pre-season, he’s been back in training now for over a week so it’s really pleasing to see him back.”

The former Hull City defender is now in contention for his return to playing action in tonight’s friendly against Sporting Braga in Portugal.

But a knee problem for Bassong remains a worry for Hughton, as kick-off against Everton on Saturday, August 17 begins to close in.

“He’s had a very minor operation in the summer, which has set back his pre-season,” Hughton said of former Spurs man Bassong. We’re hoping he’s going to be training next week and for us of course it’s always that race to try and get him fit for that first game of the season. What is more important is that he makes sure he does his rehab in the right way because it’s very much about the whole season and not just one or two games.”

Around 400 supporters attended yesterday’s open training session, which cost £2 to attend, with the money being split between the Community Sport Foundation’s Sporting Light appeal and the club’s youth academy.

Tonight’s friendly in Portugal, which kicks off at 8.30pm, is being held in the 30,000 capacity AXA Stadium in Braga, which was built for the 2008 European Championships.

Set in a disused quarry it boasts steep rock faces behind the goals and big stands along each side.

Braga have twice qualified for the Champions League group stages and last season finished fourth in the Portuguese top flight.

For more photos from the training session, turn to pages 90-91.

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