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American Exports: Whitbread expected to return soon

AMSTERDAM — Though he will not be ready to start for Monday's Premier League visit from Sunderland, Norwich City defender Zak Whitbread is nearing his return from a hamstring injury.

With the club experiencing a crisis in defense, both the 27-year-old Texan and manager Paul Lambert have fingers crossed the he will be able to resume full training shortly. Adding in a prior knee setback, Whitbread has thus far been limited to two league outings this season.

"Of the three injured center backs, he is the one furthest along in his recovery," Canaries press officer Joe Ferrari told "He's looking to re-join team training this week. It was too early for him to play [from the start on Monday], but if he's done well enough he could be on the bench."

Coming off their first win of the season at Bolton last weekend, Norwich currently stand 14th. A win against Sunderland would lift them into the table's better half through six games.