Doc back in full training

Norwich City manager Peter Grant finally got some good news yesterday when Gary Doherty returned to training after a back injury.

Norwich City manager Peter Grant finally got some good news yesterday when Gary Doherty returned to training after a back injury.

The Republic of Ireland defender was back on the training field at Colney after recovering from a back problem that has plagued his season so far.

Doherty, 26, has not played since the derby-day disaster at Ipswich Town, but could have timed his comeback perfectly for this Saturday's match at Southampton.

With Jason Shackell suspended and Dion Dublin also said to be struggling with a groin strain, the re-introduction of Doherty cannot come soon enough for Grant.


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"Doc trained for the first time today," said the City boss. "He could be available for Saturday and we need him back. We have had quite a few injuries in defensive areas so it will be nice to have him available."

Craig Fleming has also returned to first-team training after a hamstring problem ruled him out in recent weeks while Lee Croft is also likely to come straight back into the side for the trip to the South Coast after recovering from ankle ligament damage.

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The Canaries have not kept a clean sheet since their 1-0 win against West Brom in November and Grant's paper thin squad has struggled to cope with several injuries to key players.

Grant has made it clear that he is on the lookout for four new players when the transfer window re-opens in January, but the Scot insists the sacking of his old manager Alan Pardew at West Ham has not scuppered any of his transfer plans.

"At the end of the day they have got some good players that are not even getting into their 16," he said. "I would be interested, but the fact Alan's not there any more won't make any difference in terms of bringing players here.

"If there's someone I want to bring in I'll be on the phone to the new manager there just the same as I would have done had Alan still been manager."

"I will be spending a lot of time on the phone to managers in the coming weeks but we shall just have to wait and see," added Grant.

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