City's injury crisis deepens

Norwich City's worrying injury crisis deepened still further when it was revealed that Carl Robinson would spend the remainder of his loan spell at the club on the sidelines.

Norwich City's worrying injury crisis deepened still further when it was revealed that Carl Robinson would spend the remainder of his loan spell at the club on the sidelines.

The 29-year-old midfielder experienced breathing difficulties after taking a painful blow in the ribs during the early stages of Monday's home defeat against Preston at Carrow Road and ended up spending a night in hospital as a result.

He is now well on the road to recovery but is unlikely to play again until early February, leaving manager Nigel Worthington with yet another selection headache as he attempts to get a squad together for the FA Cup third round clash against West Ham.

Robinson is one of eight players who will definitely sit out the mouth-watering encounter, and with regular full-backs Adam Drury and Jurgen Colin also facing late tests the City boss currently has only 11 fully fit outfield professionals at his disposal, including teenage rookie Rossi Jarvis.

That raises the prospect of 16-year-old Academy prospect Michael Spillane making the bench for the first time. And with little prospect of any fresh faces arriving before the weekend Worthington might have to call on the services of another untried youngster to fill the bench should he suffer any more setbacks over the next couple of days.

The injuries have made an already difficult FA Cup mission even more testing - but the Norwich manager had no intention of making any excuses ahead of Saturday's big game, and is determined to make the most of the resources at his disposal.

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“It's not an ideal situation but having injuries is part of football,” he said.

“The situation is there and you just get on with it. If it means youngsters coming into the squad, or even into the team, then it will be good experience for them.

“Rossi Jarvis and Michael Spillane will both be involved in the squad on Saturday and I'll leave it at that at the moment. We just have to see where we are a bit nearer the game.”

Worthington knew at the start of the weekend that Leon McKenzie (knee), Andy Hughes (fractured cheekbone), Matthieu Louis-Jean (hamstring), Ryan Jarvis (knee) and Jason Shackell (virus) would all miss tomorrow's game through injury.

He was also aware that he would have to find replacements for key men in the midfield and striking departments, with Darren Huckerby serving a one-match suspension for five bookings and Youssef Safri now away with Morocco preparing for the African Cup of Nations.

But the loss of Robinson was an unexpected blow and although his absence poses another problem in the centre of the park his manager is just relieved that the player is on the mend after a worrying health scare.

The Sunderland man made himself available for selection against Preston, despite going into the game with a couple of cracked ribs, but he took another painful blow in the opening stages of City's final holiday fixture and failed to appear for the second half. It emerged that he had sustained a 'pneumathorax' - an injury to one of his lungs that prevented it working to its full capacity - and had required hospital treatment before being given a clean bill of health.

“Carl is out now and is making nice progress but you are looking at a month plus on the sidelines,” said Worthington.

“It was a brave decision to play on his part because he had a couple of cracked ribs. Unfortunately he has finished up with a more serious situation but thankfully it is under control and the lung appears to be getting back to normal.”

Robinson may have played the final game of his initial temporary move to Carrow Road - but there appears to be a good chance that he will be joining the club as a fully fledged Canary before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

“He will stay with us on loan - and we will try and sort something with Sunderland during the transfer window,” said the City boss.

In Robinson's absence Jason Jarrett looks set to get another chance to impress in the middle of the park, after returning to the club following a successful six-week loan spell with Championship rivals Plymouth.