Birmingham City could be without loan striker Nicklas Bendtner for the trip to Luton Town after he picked up a knee injury playing for Denmark last Saturday.

Bendtner came off in his country's Euro 2008 qualifier against Northern Ireland in Copenhagen and has already been ruled out of Wednesday's game against Liechtenstein.

As a result it seems highly unlikely that he will be fit for this weekend's Championship game at Kenilworth Road.

And Matthew Upson's return from a long-term Achilles injury has been put on hold for another fortnight on the advice of the club's medical staff.

Keith Bertschin ruled the defender out of last night's reserve team game with West Bromwich Albion and claimed he is feeling the pace in his bid to return.

"As so often happens, when you're on the way back to recovery and trying to push yourself, you can pick up little niggles because your muscles have to readjust after being out of action.

"In the rigours of trying to up his training he's just feeling one or two other little niggles, but it's not a concern," the reserve-team manager said.

Full back Stephen Kelly has been called into the Republic of Ireland team for tomorrow's match with Czech Republic. * Norwich City have been denied permission to speak to Southend United boss Steve Tilson about the vacant manager's role at Carrow Road.

The Canaries are seeking a replacement for Nigel Worthington, who was sacked on October 1.

* Stoke City have agreed terms with Liverpool midfielder Salif Diao over his proposed loan move and are also on the verge of signing Sunderland's Rory Delap, also on loan.