Grant tells Earnie: No need to rush
Norwich boss Peter Grant has refused to gamble on the long-term fitness of star striker Robert Earnshaw. The Welsh international returned to light training this week after a two month injury lay off.
Norwich boss Peter Grant has refused to gamble on the long-term fitness of star striker Robert Earnshaw.
The Welsh international returned to light training this week after a two month injury lay off with the ruptured groin suffered on the eve of Plymouth's Championship visit.
Grant remains optimistic City's prized asset will return before the end of this campaign, but the Scot has also sounded a fresh note of caution.
“I'd love him to have a run out - only if he is 100pc fit, not 99pc,” insisted Grant. “I'm hoping he'll be able to play - not necessarily for me but for Earnie. Everything has gone according to plan, he's healed very well and the injury feels great.
“I know how hard he is working along with Neil Reynolds and in his mind he'll be thinking he's going to be okay. Then the season finishes and all of a sudden he gets a six or eight week period over the summer to think about it. From a psychological point of view it is important he plays but as an injured player there is a million things you don't feel.
“You forget what you're doing as a player - Earnie has not kicked a ball yet, he hasn't done any twisting or turning yet. He's rapidly going in the right direction. If he was available before the end of the season - fantastic - that has to be his goal and we won't hinder it.”
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City physio Reynolds revealed Earnshaw's recovery is bang on course.
“The surgeon is very happy with the way it's progressed,” he said. “It's as good as we could have hoped for. Earnie was at home for a couple of weeks to recover from the surgery.
“Once the surgeon was happy with things it was a case of the real work starting. He's doing very well - doing some bike work and strengthening work and things are on course.”
Grant predicts a new improved Earnshaw after the 17-goal hitman's frustrating spell on the sidelines.
“Sometimes that is the best thing that can happen to you,” said the City chief.
“If you look at his career over the last couple of years, with the international scene, he has not had a break.
“Obviously for us it was a bad thing but with that wee bit of downtime he's had a chance to him appreciate just what he's got and what you miss when you're unavailable.
“We've had Chrissy Martin come through into the first team and you see the joy he gets. Earnie will have seen that as well and maybe seeing someone else go through is something you forget.
“Look at Dion Dublin. He broke his leg at Man United and when people say look at his professionalism and how he is still playing at 37 - maybe he looks back to that period for why he wanted to play so long.
“These things in your career are sent to try you.”