Keane eyes a massive bonus

WHAT does Roy Keane want for Christmas?

WHAT does Roy Keane want for Christmas?

High up on his festive wish-list is bound to be the return to full fitness, unscathed, of key midfielder David Norris.

It might be stretching it for Santa to deliver this particular present on the big day, but it shouldn't be too long before Norris is back in the fold.

The Town boss is set to arrange a low key, behind-closed-doors friendly this week, primarily to give Norris his first taste of competitive action since the opening day of the season.

The ex-Plymouth stalwart damaged knee ligaments during Town's 2-1 defeat at Coventry City, at which point it was predicted that he would be sidelined for at least four months.

The 28-year-old has been making good progress in recent weeks, and he is now targeting a return to the team by the new year. Town's first league match of 2010 is away at Leicester on January 9.

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"David Norris has done well. But he's been out for a long time, so he will need one or two practise games," said Keane.

"It will be good to see him back. His return will be a massive boost for us, and it's a shame that there are no reserves games over the Christmas period.

"It's a big ask for him to come straight back into the starting XI, but we're looking at the new year for his return" added Keane.

By contrast, team-mate Luciano Civelli has not enjoyed the same rate of progress from his more serious knee injury, which was suffered during the home game against Burnley last March.

Nearly nine months down the line and left-sided specialist Civelli is still some way off a return. He is certainly more than a month behind Norris.

"Luca's had a small setback and we have to be patient with him, and so does he, because he's had a bad injury," confirmed Keane.

"I've been there myself and the recovery is rarely straightforward."

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