Norwich head coach Daniel Farke remains optimistic Teemu Pukki will be fit to lead Finland’s attack at Euro 2020 – but also would ‘selfishly’ like him to have a proper rest ahead of next season’s Premier League return.
Top scorer Pukki suffered ankle ligament damage during last weekend’s 4-1 win over Reading, which secured the Sky Bet Championship title.
The 31-year-old – whose goals helped fire the Huuhkajat to a first major international tournament – will travel with the rest of the Norwich squad to Barnsley for the last game of the season on Saturday.
The Football Association of Finland has confirmed Pukki’s injury will not require surgery and remain in close contract with the Norfolk club over the situation.
The forward is now set for a spell of intensive rehabilitation before joining up with his international team-mates at a training camp later this month.
Farke remains hopeful things will work out for both club and country, with Finland’s Euro 2020 opener against Denmark in Copenhagen on June 12.
“It is a bit too early to judge the situation (with Pukki for Euro 2020),” said Farke.
“From a selfish point of view from the club, I would also say it would not be the worst if Teemu gets some rest and we don’t have to rush the rehab anyhow.
“But it is a lifelong dream for him to play in the Euros with Finland.
“He has done so much for the club and of course we also back his wish to try everything (to be fit), so we will see.
“He will start his rehab process now and then in a few weeks time we can speak about if it is possible or not.
“I would label it that I am carefully optimistic for him, because he is quite quick in terms of his recovery from injuries, so our fingers are crossed for him.
“Although a bit selfishly, we would also perhaps even hope for a bit more rest, which would also be deserved because no other striker in western Europe has had more games in the last three years than Teemu.
“But of course we support him with his wish and hopefully everything goes well with rehab so that he is ready to go also for the Euros.”
On-loan Tottenham midfielder Oliver Skipp has also played his last game this season following surgery on a fractured metatarsal in his right foot which happened during the closing stages against Reading.
Alex Tettey and Mario Vrancic could make farewell appearances at Oakwell, with the out-of-contract midfield duo set to leave the club in the summer.
Farke hopes there will be a time and place for everyone to mark their collective achievements when coronavirus restrictions finally come to an end.
“This should be a motivation for next season, because we remember how great it was to celebrate the (Championship) title two years ago together with our supporters,” the German said.
“I tell you what, if we are capable to fight for our right to stay in the Premier League next season and can savour this, then we will definitely do a promotion parade.
“If I have to do (organise) it all alone with my players, I will definitely do this and also invite Mario and Alex.
“We will find a way to value (them) and celebrate together once allowed.
“Sometimes there are decisions you have to take (as a club) that hurt a lot because they are not just two fantastic footballers, they are also two fantastic people. “