Buidling Dreams Together


Norwich City – Current Injuries and outlook for the month ahead.

It is safe to say that injuries have plagued Norwich City’s campaign this season. An ankle injury for Josh Sargent back in August against Huddersfield Town saw Norwich lose their main attacking threat, and slump down to 17th in the table. A groin injury to Jacob Sorensen did not help when it came to rotation within the squad, and new signing Borja Sainz was ruled out with a hamstring strain shortly after signing for the club.

In September, Ashley Barnes suffered a knee injury that saw him out of the side until November, which left Norwich utilising their third choice and fourth choice strikers, Adah Idah (currently on loan at Celtic) and Nottingham Forest loanee Ui-Jo Hwang (who returned to his parent club in January). Midfield maestro Marcelino Nunez also suffered an injury that ruled him out until November, leaving manager David Wagner with very little options in that midfield.

Since those hard months across the autumn and early winter, results have been improving, alongside the return of the key players in Wagner’s squad, with Norwich finding themselves 5th best in the league in terms of home form. But the away record is straggling behind, with the Canaries the 18th best in terms of away form this season.

And with only 11 games to go this season, and with more injury concerns among the squad, making those crucial last two play-off positions seems like an impossible task, considering the calibre of teams around the Canaries. So who is currently out injured, and what timeframe has been placed on their return?

Jonathan Rowe – Hamstring injury – Mid-April 2024
Image via: Mike Egerton/PA

Norwich City starlet Jonathan Rowe suffered a hamstring injury away at QPR, after coming off the bench to gain some minutes after being rested as a precaution the prior two weeks. It proved too soon for the winger, who David Wagner expects to be out until Mid-April 2024, with a return before the home leg of the East Anglian derby against Ipswich Town seeming unlikely. Bearing in mind Rowe was instrumental in Norwich City’s 2-2 derby day draw away at Portman Road, and with the young winger in such fine form, this injury is a massive blow to Wagner’s side. It will require the young Spanish winger Borja Sainz and Christian Fassnacht, 30-year-old Swiss right winger, to step up to the challenge and help plug the gaps within the squad.

Onel Hernandez – Broken Foot – End of Season
Image via Norwich City FC

Fan favourite Cuban winger Onel Hernandez suffered a broken foot in training ahead of the Sunderland game this prior weekend (Saturday, 2nd March) whilst making a challenge against fellow South American Marcelino Nunez. Hernandez went into detail over on his YouTube channel (@HernandezOnel) about the injury, and Wagner believes that this will more than likely be the end of the season for Hernandez. The injury will be a big blow to Wagner’s side, as although Hernandez has had a below-par season, he was beginning to find his form. The academy has produced some fine talent ready to bolster Wagner’s side in the final 11 games of the season, with talents such as Finley Welch and Kenneth Aboh (the latter having been scouted by Premier League teams this season) more than capable of providing an outlet in these final games.

Shane Duffy – Muscle Injury – Mid-March 2024
HULL, ENGLAND – JANUARY 12: Shane Duffy of Norwich City celebrates following the team’s victory in the Sky Bet Championship match between Hull City and Norwich City at MKM Stadium on January 12, 2024 in Hull, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Irish defender Shane Duffy, who signed as a free agent from Brighton and Hove Albion in the summer, has proven to be a key figure at the heart of Norwich’s defence this season, with the ball-playing centre-back lining up alongside Ben Gibson, former Burnley defender, and at times when needed, Scotland midfielder and Norwich City vice-captain Kenny McLean. Duffy suffered a muscle injury in training ahead of the Canaries’ visit to QPR at the start of February. The injury, although a blow to the side, will not affect the game plan too much, as captain Grant Hanley returned to the side in December after suffering a torn Achilles heel last season, and with Gibson fit and McLean able to play in defence, the side look set to cope alright, and there is extra benefit that Duffy’s injury is relatively short-term, in comparison with Rowe and Hernandez.

So where does this leave Norwich ahead of the next five fixtures?

Norwich have a tough run in the next five games, with the first being a midweek trip to Middlesbrough on Wednesday night (a 7:45pm kick-off). The Canaries are next at home against Rotherham on Saturday, 9th March, a 3pm kick-off. Relegation threatened opposition Stoke City host the Canaries on the 16th March before the international break, with the Canaries returning back to Carrow Road to welcome Plymouth Argyle on the 23rd March. The Yellows will end the month with a trip to league leaders Leicester City on Friday, 29th March (12:30pm kick-off), ahead of the home leg of the East Anglian derby on the 6th April.

In terms of what Norwich can realistically expect from this month, the side need to turn around their away form to have any chance of making the play-offs, with the gap to 6th being only one point, and four points off of 5th. Middlesbrough, although struggling this season, will prove to be a formidable challenge for the Canaries, and although three points are more than likely, a point is more realistic for this clash. Norwich then have three games where nothing short of three points will be considered a failure, with Rotherham, Stoke City and Plymouth Argyle all fighting a relegation battle. Stoke City especially will be a crucial game for Wagner’s side, with the Potters having some of the worst home form in the league this season, with the side currently sat 17th for home form. Rotherham sit 24th in terms of home form this season. Three points from each of these three games is crucial for the play-off push.

Leicester City, on the other hand, will prove a much more formidable task. Although the Foxes have been struggling as of late, their most recent result being a 2-1 loss at home to relegation-threatened QPR, there is no denying that Leicester are set for an immediate return to the Premier League, with the team three points clear at the top of the table, with both Ipswich Town and Leeds United hunting them down. The Canaries were held to a 2-0 loss at home back in September, and will be hopeful that, if this form continues for the Foxes, they can swoop in and hopefully walk away with a point. If the Canaries can achieve these results, there will be a massive momentum boost ahead of the East Anglian derby, in a fixture where three points for either side could decide whether promotion to the Premier League, via the automatic spots for the Tractor Boys, or the play-off places for the Canaries, is possible.