Norwich lose Francis to broken cheekbone

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The Independent Football

Nigel Worthington, the Norwich City manager, fears Damien Francis could be out of action for up to two months after the midfielder broke his cheekbone in training on Thursday.

Nigel Worthington, the Norwich City manager, fears Damien Francis could be out of action for up to two months after the midfielder broke his cheekbone in training on Thursday.

The 25-year-old, who scored both goals against Southampton last weekend to secure the Canaries' first League win of the season, collided with Leon McKenzie. Francis was due to undergo surgery this morning and Norwich expect to learn early next week how long they will have to wait for the player's return.

In the meantime, Worthington will have to cope without his joint top-scorer. "It's very, very disappointing," Worthington said. "He is a big loss for us. But that's football and you get on with it."

The non-availability of Francis, who has scored four goals this season, could pave the way for Gary Holt to return to the Canaries' starting line-up for today's match at Birmingham.

Worthington added: "It was just one of those accidental football collisions in training that happens. Just after it happened it was very, very sore and it started to swell up. It was a case of getting him to hospital for an X-ray and that's when it was revealed he'd got the fracture.

"Damien will have an operation on Saturday and then and only then will we have a more accurate timescale as to how long he might be out for. It could be one of those that, if everything settles down quickly, with a mask he could be back within 14 days.

"But if the surgeon gets inside and it's more complicated then it could be six weeks, two months."

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