Onel Hernandez will miss at least the next three months with a lateral meniscus tear he sustained after a trip at his home on Thursday.
Hernandez will be unavailable for Norwich City’s Carrow Road curtain-raiser against Newcastle United on Saturday, and manager Daniel Farke fears that the winger could be set for a longer period on the sidelines if a scan reveals that he has torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on Monday.
Hernandez became the first Cuban-born footballer to play in the Premier League last week, as he featured as a second half substitute in City’s 4-1 opening day defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Friday night.
Farke admitted that the winger’s absence will be a “big blow” ahead of tomorrow’s game against the Magpies.
“It’s a big blow because he would’ve been unbelievably important for the game tomorrow,” Farke said. “We need some different players and he’s a player that has this one-on-one capability, and with his pace he’s always a threat and he can do the unpredictable - you need these players in the group.”
You can't complain when there's something happen on the pitch - that's normal. But it is more like we are unbelievably unlucky."
An ever-growing injury list
Centre-backs Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmermann both remain sidelined for Saturday with knee injuries, and Farke revealed that Kenny McLean, Adam Idah (both back) and Josip Drmic (hamstring) will also miss out.
"He [McLean] had a knock to his back during the training week and wasn't available to train on Wednesday," he said. "We also have to go without Josip Drmic. He got a strain in his hamstring last Sunday in training. I hope to have him back before the international break, but we have to wait and see how he recovers."
The only positive to take from City's ever-increasing injury list is that fringe players will thrusted from behind the curtain and into the spotlight, and will be presented with the opportunity to impress on the pitch.
“Whoever is in the club has a chance now to step up. There is no limit, if you are in the under-23s or under-18s, but it is not that easy to reach this level," Farke said. "We have options in the wide positions. I trust the lads like Patrick Roberts, even Philip Heise can play in a more offensive role. We will go with what we have got.”