Premier League - Hughton `won't rush Ruddy back'

Norwich manager Chris Hughton will take no chances on the fitness of England goalkeeper John Ruddy as he nears a first-team return.

PA Sport
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Norwich City's goalkeeper John Ruddy

The 26-year-old has not featured for the Canaries since the draw at Everton on November 24 after needing surgery on a torn muscle in his thigh.

After completing 90 minutes of Norwich's 2-0 Under-21 Development League defeat at Newcastle on Monday night, Ruddy is expected to soon be back in contention over the end-of-season run-in.

Hughton, though, is determined not to rush the keeper - who returned five clean sheets before his injury - back too soon.

"The plan is for John to be involved in another game on Monday, then we will have to take it from there," said Hughton, who revealed deputy Mark Bunn could yet be fit to face Arsenal on Saturday.

"The injury is fine, there has been no reccurrence.

"We will play another (development) game next week, then assess it from there, but it is certainly good to have him back on the training pitch and around things."

Hughton added: "This weekend is too soon because we have to be conscious that John has been out for a long time.

"For as much as it is good to have him back training, this is one of our last six games.

"Whatever games we will have John available for is a real plus and a bonus, so we need to make sure we do it right."

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