Injury fears ahead of Saints visit

CHRIS LAKEY Adam Drury and Julien Brellier could both be missing when Norwich City line-up against Southampton tomorrow.


Adam Drury and Julien Brellier could both be missing when Norwich City line-up against Southampton tomorrow.

Drury suffered an ankle injury against Barnet in midweek, while manager Peter Grant is concerned that Brellier is still short of match fitness and is concerned at the risk of the Frenchman picking up an injury.

Darren Huckerby is once again a definite non-starter because of a groin strain, although Grant is happy to wait until the 11th hour before making decisions on the other two.

“Julien is probably the same thing - not enough games in pre-season,” said Grant. “He wanted to train Monday and Tuesday and he stil, felt a little bit tight around and about his groins and I just don't want him suffer a strain again, which we had the last time. We ended up playing him when he thought he was fit and it was just stiffness and he ended up with a strain, so we are very conscious that that doesn't happen.

“We will give him to the last moment to see if he feels much better. I think it is more - and it sounds silly to say - fatigue, because of the amount of work he has been doing in the period of time he has been trying to catch up.”

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Jimmy Smith's ankle injury rules him out again, but Grant believe the on-loan Chelsea man will be “like a new signing” when he returns to Carrow Road next month.

The midfielder's rehabilitation is going on under the watchful eyes of the Chelsea camp, with Grant and physio Neal Reynolds in regular contact.

“We said it would be at least four weeks with the boot he has to wear,” said Grant. “We speak to Jimmy twice a week and myself and Neal keep in contact with Chelsea and they have been excellent with us, they are in contact with us all the time just letting us know how the progress is going.

“The kid is just desperate to get back and play, desperate to get back down. He will be like a new signing when he is fully fit.”

That may be closer to the end of September, with Grant refusing to take liberties with another team's prospect.

“He is a fit lad but we are always very conscious when he is not our player that you can't push them,” Grant added. “Maybe sometimes you can do it with your own players, you can set certain things out, but Chelsea are working him very hard by all accounts, and we will take it on with them plus speaking to their medical people because we don't want to take risks.

“He is only a young man, he doesn't want people pushing him back early and causing him longer term problems.”