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TEAM NEWS: Onel Hernandez fitness boost ahead of Aston Villa tussle

PUBLISHED: 13:20 22 October 2018 | UPDATED: 20:07 22 October 2018

Daniel Farke previewed Aston Villa's visit to Norwich City on Monday lunchtime Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke previewed Aston Villa's visit to Norwich City on Monday lunchtime Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City wide player Onel Hernandez is in contention for Tuesday’s Championship home game against Aston Villa, after his injury scare at Nottingham Forest.

Head coach Daniel Farke provided a positive update on Hernandez’s fitness on Monday lunchtime at Colney, although both Hernandez and Jordan Rhodes will be late calls for the starting line up after a lack of recent game time.

Hernandez made his first start since a hernia operation at the City Ground on Saturday but was forced off in the closing stages after complaining of sickness following a blow to the stomach.

“No new injuries but we will make some late decisions. Onel was out for a few weeks and was pretty tired and we had to substitute him,” said Farke. “The question is whether it makes sense to start him again after two days to rest. Perhaps an option for the bench and to have his pace for 20 or 30 minutes and one-on-one situations.

“Also Jordan Rhodes. The first league game in several weeks. Although he has not been injured and he is in a bit better condition. When you have two days between games to recover you have to find the balance between rotation and fresh legs.”

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Grant Hanley (quad) is targeting a return to full training by the middle of next month.

“It is a season of bad luck for Grant,” said Farke. “First he missed most of pre-season and then you got the feeling he is coming into his rhythm but he had this structural damage in his muscles. The latest diagnosis is it will be two or three weeks so he is back just after the next international break.”

Farke confirmed both Ben Marshall and Ivo Pinto are in contention to make the matchday squad for Villa’s visit rather than options to feature for the development set-up at Stoke City on Monday night in a Premier League Two fixture.

“Ben was ill for eight or ten days and missed training during that period,” said Farke. “For that he won’t travel (to Stoke). He will train with us (on Monday afternoon) and the same with Ivo. We have to wait in terms of naming our squad and starting line up and we will have some late decisions. If there is perhaps some illness overnight I won’t those two to be close to the rest of the squad to react.”

Kenny McLean (ankle), Carlton Morris and Matt Jarvis (both knees) remain longer term injury absentees, while Nelson Oliveira is out of favour. Farke revealed at Colney on Monday Morris could return at the start of 2019 after resuming light training.

“Carlton is able to run in straight lines and out on the pitch,” said Farke. “He now has to work on the next step in his recovery. We are looking at eight or nine weeks, maybe the start of next year is more realistic to be involved.

“Sean, he is another longer term one and doing his rehab at his loan club (Rotherham) so I can’t judge exactly how far he is away.”

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