(Reuters) - Norwich City will be without captain Grant Hanley and defenders Sam Byram and Christoph Zimmermann when they resume their Premier League campaign against Southampton, with the trio ruled out for the rest of the season through injury, manager Daniel Farke said on Thursday.
Midfielder Marco Stiepermann, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week but has since returned two negative tests, will also miss the clash against Southampton on Friday.
Hanley, 28, missed almost four months of action at the start of the season due to groin and hernia surgeries, while Byram and Zimmermann have not featured since Norwich's 1-0 defeat by Liverpool in February.
"I have to confirm it's the end of the season for Byram. We hoped he'd be back in June but he has had a setback in his rehab. Hanley is also out for the season as he requires surgery on a hamstring injury," Farke told reporters.
"Stiepermann has been allowed to rejoin training. He will not be involved tomorrow, but we hope he can be a topic in the next game."
Norwich are bottom of the standings with 21 points, six away from the safety zone with nine games remaining but Farke, 43, believes his side are capable of springing a few surprises and securing their survival.
"We are the underdogs, without a doubt but we are convinced that we still have a chance. It is all in our hands. It's crunch-time and we have to show a winning mentality," the German added.
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)