Norwood’s groin operation went ‘100% perfectly’... but Keane is fit and firing if striker needs more time
PUBLISHED: 12:37 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:37 11 October 2019
Will Keane is ready to take his chance if James Norwood’s ongoing groin problem keeps him out of the Ipswich Town side for any length of time.
Norwood has returned from Germany after undergoing successful surgery on a nerve issue in his groin, with all signs pointing towards him being fit and available for Town's trip to Accrington Stanley on October 20.
Keane made his first start of the season and completed 90 minutes in the Blues' 4-0 EFL Trophy victory over Gillingham on Tuesday, in which he scored the fourth goal, with the 26-year-old ready to come into the side if Norwood needs longer than expected to recover.
"Potentially it might open the door for me, yeah," Keane said, when asked about Norwood's injury.
"Hopefully he has a quick turnaround and gets himself right soon but if I'm called upon obviously it's a good opportunity for myself to get in the team and help keep the run going.
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"Whether it's from the bench or starting, I'll make sure I'm ready.
"Obviously I want to (start in the league). I've been here for a month now and obviously when you see the lads doing well you get that weird feeling and want to be a part of it but I knew I'd have to be patient and it's a good thing really, giving the manager something to think about and the fact that we're doing so well. We've just got to keep it going."
When asked how close he feels to full fitness, Keane said: "Maybe a couple of full 90s.
"I didn't have a pre-season and that was my first full 90 minutes so I'm probably still in that phase. But I'm feeling good, I got through that well and I'm just looking to get a few more as soon as possible.
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"Obviously the goal helps as well - you don't feel as tired when you nick a goal!"
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Keane also understands why manager Paul Lambert has opted to rotate his squad during the early weeks of the season, with the striker well aware of the need to take his chance in the league when it does eventually arrive.
"To go all the way you've got to have that strength in depth and the lads understand it. Everyone wants to play every game and it gets frustrating at times but it's nights like tonight when we put in good performances and everyone's knocking on the manager's door giving him something to think about.
"We're all keen to play and we just have to make sure that when we're given the opportunity we do the job."
When asked about Norwood's recovery on Tuesday evening, assistant manager Stuart Taylor said: "Everything's fantastic, everything's really good, it's all positive, everything's really, really good on that side of things.
"He's coming back, he'll do his rehab and we're hoping that he'll continue training on Monday."
When asked why Norwood underwent the procedure in Germany, Taylor said: "I think it was actually a connection of Matt Byard's.
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"Matt's got a great depth of contacts when it comes to operations and injections or anything medical like that, he's got a real mass of contacts.
"We were very confident with the person, they took their time in terms of who they wanted to go to and when they wanted to do it, so we got the last two games out of the way with the break coming up and used that because he's not going to miss any games.
He added: "We're not looking at him missing any game whatsoever, the operation went 100% perfectly well, we're really happy with the outcome and he'll come back in and he'll see the lads over the next couple of days and he'll be back training next week."
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