Norris will miss start of season

JIM Magilton's most expensive signing David Norris will miss the start of the Ipswich Town season, it emerged today.

Elvin King

By ELVIN KING

elvin.king@archant.co.uk

JIM Magilton's most expensive signing David Norris will miss the start of the Ipswich Town season, it emerged today.

The 27-year-old, who cost £2million when purchased from Plymouth last January, has picked up a fresh heel injury on the same heel he had an operation on.

It will be next week before he is expected to return to full time training - and he has effectively been ruled out of at least the first two weeks of the 2008/09 campaign.

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Norris missed the last six weeks of last season and it was not until he underwent an operation that he started to recover from a plantarfascia problem around his heel.

He picked up this new injury in the Brentford pre-season match, and Town physio Matt Byard said: “David had made a good recovery from surgery, but has picked up a completely new injury.

“It's in the same area however and we must wait for the inflammation to settle down before David can step up his training.”

Top London foot specialist Mr Lloyd-Williams, who worked successfully with Jason de Vos and Richard Naylor and has links with the Royal Ballet, is now working with Norris.

Byard added: “The specialist has checked the scans on David's heel and is very positive about his recovery, but it means the player has to be patient. The heel will settle down but it needs time.

“David is continuing to work on his general fitness without putting pressure on his foot, and it will be maybe two weeks after he resumes full time training before he would be ready for the first team.

“He will not be available for the Preston opener on August 9, but we are not putting a time scale on it.”

Jon Walters is still away from club, spending time in the north west with his wife while Town await news on the impending birth of the couple's second child.

Hondurian international Emilio Izaguirre has done well during his Town trail over the last ten days. The left-sided 22-year-old is expected to stay with Town until the weekend before returning home.

He is currently unable to play in a competitive game for Town, and there may be work permit issues if Town manager Jim Magilton wants to take things further.

Talks are still taking place between Town chief executive Derek Bowden and left back Ben Thatcher's representatives after the ex-Charlton player impressed with the Blues earlier this month.

Hopes that Town might sign Celtic defender Bobo Balde are likely to flounder because of the 32-year-old wage demands - he is reported to be on £30,000 a week at Parkhead.

Pablo Counago will be fit to face West Ham at Portman Road on Monday night having recovered from a bruised foot with defender Pim Balkestein also likely to be available after also sitting out the match at Brighton on Tuesday.

TOWN have today been linked with Albanian international striker Erjon Bogdani.

Reports in Italy suggest that the Chievo Verona player is interesting Ipswich.

He spent last season on loan with Livorno, who were subsequently relegated from the Italian League.

The 31-year-old is 6ft 3in tall has been capped 44 times, scoring eight goals, and he has also played in Turkey and Croatia.

He netted twice last season for Livorno in 15 matches and fits into the Angelos Charisteas mould, who Town's international scout Simon Hunt brought to the attention of Magilton earlier this month.

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