Watford defender Tommie Hoban is a doubt for Saturday's trip to Birmingham City after the 20-year-old suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury.

Hoban played the full 90 minutes against Crystal Palace last Friday but the talented centre-half was struggling with the same problem that had previously kept him out since New Year's Day.

Hornets boss Gianfranco Zola was impressed with the youngster's display and said Hoban's fitness will be assessed in the days leading up to the game.

"Hoban has been good," Zola said on Wednesday.

"I thought he played a very good game against Crystal Palace. I thought defensively, he was excellent and also with the ball.

"He picked up a little problem in his ankle so we’ll have him assessed and we’ll see whether it’s going to be a problem."

When asked if it was a recurrence of his previous ankle injury, Zola said: “I believe so, yes.”

The Italian was more hopeful however on the availability of defender Joel Ekstrand who has recovered from the knee injury which kept him out of Sweden's game with Argentina last week.

Zola said: “Joel’s here today (Wednesday) and there are good possibilities that he might be available for Saturday.

"He hasn’t trained with the squad, he has trained on his own a bit and he’s been doing physio.”

Ikechi Anya was also back in training this week, as was Nyron Nosworthy who returned from international duty fit.

Connor Smith and Neuton however remain sidelined.