Report claims Zimmermann could make City return in November
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
Christoph Zimmermann recently explained that it's unlikely he will be back in action for Norwich City this year - but a national newspaper has claimed the centre-back could be back in action in November.
The imposing German defender came into the offices of the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News less than a fortnight ago, to take part in an online Q&A with Canaries supporters.
Inevitably a question about when he will be 'fully fit' soon arrived and Zimmermann suggested his foot ligament injury is likely to keep him out until December.
The City defender wrote: "As the manager has mentioned, he thinks it is realistic I return in January. I hope to make it quicker than that. And maybe an appearance or two in 2019."
However, The Sun have reported this afternoon that the 26-year-old has "responded well to treatment and could even be back in light training soon and return in November" to ease the injury crisis which has severely restricted Daniel Farke's injury options.
That's despite Zimmermann still wearing a protective boot on his right foot when he was at Carrow Road to watch Saturday's heavy home defeat to Aston Villa, which left City in the Premier League relegation zone going into the international break.
Speaking to us at length about his recovery, on September 26, the former Borussia Dortmund II captain was setting his sights on the festive period for his return.
He explained: "As a player you try to push it but the physios have been clear and said if you start too early you could get chronic pain. Early January would be realistic and the head coach mentioned this. I hope to be able to play in 2019 because December is a busy period. There will be a lot of load and I want to help the team.
"We are still quite early in the recovery but I was told straight from the beginning it was three ligaments damaged in the middle of the right foot. It would have been better if it was the ankle ligaments or a break because that would be a quicker timeline to heal. Unfortunately with the ligaments in the middle of the foot that is tricky because you use that part of the foot when you walk.
"I was told six weeks for the crutches and the air boot and it is four weeks this coming Saturday. That will settle the foot down to allow the ligaments to heal naturally. I hope that has gone well.
"I am quite positive. From there it is still a long way in the rehab because I haven't used my foot for six weeks."
Zimmermann followed Farke across from Dortmund in the summer of 2017 and has made 92 appearances for the club so far, often wearing the captain's armband during last season's Championship title triumph.
That led to a new contract being signed, extending terms until 2023 with the option of a further year, but minor knee surgery was required in July which forced him to miss all of pre-season.
He returned with a start in the League Cup second round in August, being taken off in the 55th minute with a minor knock during a 1-0 loss at Crawley.
Centre-back colleague Timm Klose suffered a serious knee injury during that game that brought an end to his season early so Zimmermann was back in league action sooner than expected, starting at West Ham.
However, he was forced off after 36 minutes after a poor tackle from West Ham striker Sebastien Haller, leaving him on crutches.
With Grant Hanley also struggling with a groin injury, that has left defensive midfielder Ibrahim Amadou to partner Ben Godfrey in central defence in recent weeks, with the Canaries losing three games on the spin to drop into the relegation zone.
City go to Bournemouth after the international break and then have home games against Manchester United and Watford, either side of a trip to Brighton, ahead of the next break for national games.
Premier League actions then resumes on November 23 with a game at Everton, ahead of a home clash with Arsenal to close out the month.
- You can watch Zimmermann's recent interview in the video above