It's agony for Smith

JONATHAN REDHEAD Norwich City's tour of Holland ended in the worst possible way last night as on loan midfielder Jimmy Smith suffered a nasty looking calf injury. The Chelsea man disappeared into the dressing room on crutches after the 2-1 defeat to second tier Dutch side FC Zwolle, which saw Czech striker David Strihavka get his first City goal, and reappeared to make his way to the bus with heavy strapping on his left calf.

JONATHAN REDHEAD

Norwich City's tour of Holland ended in the worst possible way last night as on loan midfielder Jimmy Smith suffered a nasty looking calf injury.

The Chelsea man disappeared into the dressing room on crutches after the 2-1 defeat to second tier Dutch side FC Zwolle, which saw Czech striker David Strihavka get his first City goal, and reappeared to make his way to the bus with heavy strapping on his left calf.

A heavy challenge in the 85th minute saw Smith lay prone in the centre circle for several minutes until he limped off with help, clearly in a great deal of pain.


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City boss Peter Grant tried to remain positive and said he hoped the injury was nothing more than a blow to a nerve.

“We don't know how it is,” he said. “We're hoping it is a knock to the nerve or something like that. We're hoping it's nothing too serious and sometimes they can settle down as quickly as you get them. Obviously it's a concern because I thought he was excellent again.”

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The City boss was not pleased about the challenge that led to the injury.

“It's a difficult one,” he said. “I know what pre-season's about. Sometimes you're late in tackles because the legs are wanting to do it and the mind is not and you get there as quick as you can sometimes.

“It wasn't a great tackle, but I don't think it was malicious. We're disappointed but I think you are going to get that in pre-season, because people's timing is out.

“We've got to accept it as part of the game, it's just a pity after such a good performance from him.”

There were further injury concerns as Jason Shackell and Chris Brown were both left out of the squad as a precaution because of hamstring and knee problems respectively.

Meanwhile Julien Brellier again sat out of the action as Grant admitted he was not close to making the starting line-up, while Darren Huckerby has already returned to England early with a groin problem.

“Julien been working very hard in the gym, but in the circumstances we had last year, it was a problem with us with injuries and playing players who weren't 100 pc fit,” Grant said. “I still think even when he gets back now, we've got to work on his general fitness, but he's desperate to play.”

One bright spark for Grant was Strihavka's first goal for the club.

“His general play has been good and he's had chances in every game,” Grant said. “All round I've been very pleased with him.”

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