City get to the root of injury crisis

CHRIS LAKEY The Chris Brown injury mystery has been solved - but not in time for the striker to make a long-awaited reappearance at Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday. Brown has managed only six starts since arriving at Norwich from Sunderland during the January transfer window, with a hamstring problem sparking a back injury which restricted his training.

CHRIS LAKEY

The Chris Brown injury mystery has been solved - but not in time for the striker to make a long-awaited reappearance at Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.

Brown has managed only six starts since arriving at Norwich from Sunderland during the January transfer window, with a hamstring problem sparking a back injury which restricted his training.

However, the exact root of the problem has been hard to find - until now, with a jab of the needle seemingly hitting the right spot.

Brown has now returned to full training, with manager Peter Grant warning the 22-year-old that he faces a long, hot summer to be ready in time for the start of the new season in August.

“It is a massive plus because at the end of the day we didn't know what his problem was,” said Grant. “He finally got the injection that seems to have made it a lot easier for him.

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“We couldn't find the problem and we thought it was a nerve thing, but they seem to have found the point where the pressure was coming from in the nerve and they have got it.

“There was nothing on the surface really, but when he got this injection it seems to have brought him on leaps and bounds, he feels great. It is the best he has felt since he got the injury, so it is a big plus for us.

“Neal Reynolds (physio) has worked really hard, along with the surgeons, to see what they could do, but they couldn't find it and then they thought this was the area they could try, probably the only thing that was left to try on him to see where the pain was coming from.

“And bingo, it seems to have worked and you can see a lot more spring in the boys' step, which is great for him. I just think it will be too quick for him this weekend and I can't afford a setback with him.”

Like Brown, Luke Chadwick also faces some serious work at the Colney training centre this summer.

“It is most important that they hit the ground running next season so there will be a lot of work for them to get done through this period to get that strengthening up and make sure it is equal on both sides of his body and make sure they are firing on all cylinders for the start of the season,” Grant said.

Midfielder Youssef Safri (hamstring) definitely won't figure on Sunday, while right winger Lee Croft is a major doubt because of a calf injury.

“Crofty will be struggling,” said Grant. “When you get a kick in the calf you are concerned that it becomes a strain and at this moment there is still a lot of swelling about and bruising, so I just don't think we will be able to take the chance.”

Dion Dublin has a slight hamstring strain but the lack of personnel means he will be called upon.

“I haven't got enough to say I am going to rule him out,” added Grant. “We have two days and I am sure the big man will be desperate to play. You know what he is like, even at his age he wants to train - sometimes you just have to tell him to leave it because it is important he is available for the weekend. He is not going to lose any fitness by missing out on his training.”