Op blow to Cureton's Town mission

NORWICH City striker Jamie Cureton, who yesterday set about winding up Ipswich Town fans, could be sidelined until next month after undergoing an appendix operation.

NORWICH City striker Jamie Cureton, who yesterday set about winding up Ipswich Town fans, could be sidelined until next month after undergoing an appendix operation.

Cureton, who said resurgent Norwich had Ipswich in their sights, has had surgery to remove an inflamed appendix after complaining of feeling unwell on the eve of City's weekend 1-0 Championship win over Preston.

Canaries' boss Glenn Roeder has now ruled Cureton out until Barnsley's Carrow Road visit on February 23 - at the earliest.

“Jamie wasn't feeling well on Friday but he picked himself up sufficiently to take part on Saturday,” said Roeder.

“But on Sunday his stomach problem returned and he was admitted for surgery on Monday night, for an operation that was a complete success. We would like to wish Jamie a speedy recovery and hope that he doesn't miss more than two or three games.”

The enforced absence of Cureton, who said it would be a massive boost for City fans if they could get close to Ipswich, leaves Roeder facing a major striking crisis ahead of the Canaries' Championship trip to Cardiff.

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Roeder, whose side are currently seven points adrift of Ipswich, may now be forced back into the emergency loan market which re-opens later this week in a bid to bolster his depleted frontline.

City were strongly linked with moves for Scunthorpe striker Martin Paterson and a late January transfer window move for Southampton hitman Grzegorz Rasiak - the Polish striker opting for a deadline day loan switch to Bolton.

Cureton's latest injury set back caps a frustrating return to the club for the former Carrow Road trainee who re-joined in the summer after firing Colchester to their highest ever league position.

The 32-year-old was forced to miss a month of this season with an ankle problem picked up in the goal less home draw with Scunthorpe.

Cureton's stop start campaign has seen him fail to recapture the goal scoring form that earned the Championship's golden last year.

The Bristol-born marksman grabbed a derby day equalizer in Roeder's first match at the helm but the striker has played second fiddle to Ched Evans and Dion Dublin in recent weeks.

City's eight goal top scorer has not started a Championship game since the New Year's Day draw at Crystal Palace - three days after his last strike salvaged a point at home to Wolves.