Hucks still playing catch-up says Grant

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant says Darren Huckerby is still playing catch-up from the groin injury which ended his pre-season schedule before it had begun. The Canaries winger missed all the pre-season games and missed the first four league games before playing in the Carling Cup tie at Rochdale - a delay that is still having an effect.

CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant says Darren Huckerby is still playing catch-up from the groin injury which ended his pre-season schedule before it had begun.

The Canaries winger missed all the pre-season games and missed the first four league games before playing in the Carling Cup tie at Rochdale - a delay that is still having an effect.

“For Darren, at this moment in time it has been difficult because he has had his injury - people tend to forget that he has not had a pre-season whatsoever, then all of a sudden his first game is against Rochdale and everybody is expecting him to be flying,” said the City manager.

“Any player who has been out for three or four months will never be as sharp as they want to be right away. The only way they can get that, the only way we have been able to do that, is to try and play him through the games.

“That is difficult because sometimes adrenaline gets you through one or two - after that you have to have catch-up time, with game time, and unfortunately for Darren he is trying to catch up that game time through games.”

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Grant claims Huckerby is not alone in catching up.

“We have had that with a few of the boys - people tend to forget (Luke) Chadwick missed a lot of last season,” he said. “(Chris) Brown missed a lot of last season, all these guys missed big periods. (Julien) Brellier didn't do any pre-season, (Darel) Russell didn't have pre-season - he did pre-season running but no football games.”

Huckerby played in the same starting line-up as right winger Lee Croft for the first time this season when they paired up for the game against Scunthorpe - but there are no guarantees Grant will do the same against QPR on Monday.

“It depends on who is available,” he said. “I have to look at every game individually. I think going one way you are looking as if you can get at the opposition - going the other way potential match winners could be potential match losers for you, so you have to be careful with your balance. It is something I look at all the time.”